FIMSA had a meeting with a team led by Ms. Muriel Peneveyre, the Plenipotentiary and Extraordinary Ambassador of the Swiss Confederation to the Republic of Azerbaijan, and consisting of Ms. Daniel Myuli, the newly appointed South Caucasus Regional Director, SECO, and other representatives of SECO. The parties discussed Swiss-Azerbaijani relations, SECO’s support to financial sector reforms, and prospects of further cooperation between FIMSA and SECO, APA reports citing FIMSA.
Mr. Ibrahim Alishov, acting chairman of FIMSA’s Executive Board, in his welcoming remarks, wished Ms. Muriel Peneveyre best of luck in her new position, and spoke of the government’s recent non-oil development and economic diversification reforms, encompassed within a series of strategic roadmaps, and, in particular, FIMSA’s partnership with SECO under the financial sector roadmap. Furthermore, he stressed President Ilham Aliyev’s leadership of business climate and small and medium enterprise (SME) access to credit improvements, entailing a range of agricultural lending and business promotion efforts encapsulated in the creation, among other things, of the Mortgage and Credit Guarantee Fund, the Private Credit Bureau and State Collateral Registry for Movable Assets (SCRMA), and an Agricultural Insurance Fund.
Mr. Alishov went on to describe SCRMA as an effective tool enabling small businesses and farmers to access credit collateralized with movable assets, thereby allowing business expansion. To wit, the Registry has so far registered more than 60 thousand user searches, and more than 40 thousand notices filed, for a total worth of over AZN6 billion.
As a direct consequence of the reforms international institutions and credit rating agencies increasingly upgrade Azerbaijan’s standing. The World Bank’s Doing Business 2019 report upgraded Azerbaijan’s ranking on Getting Credit from 122 to 22, while the 2020 report ranks Azerbaijan as number 1 among 190 countries. Azerbaijan was also named as one of the top 20 reformers.
Concerning exposure to best financial supervisory practices, Mr. Alishov informed the guests of FIMSA’s newly acquired membership of the Basel Advisory Group (August 2019), and collaborations with Germany’s BaFin, Bundesbank, and a number of leading European regulators; he also pointed out the counterparts’ interest in learning Azerbaijan’s experience as encouraging. To wit, Azerbaijan’s SCRMA experience has been shared with and applied to varying degrees by Georgia and Kyrgizstan, with a team from the National Bank of Ukraine scheduled to visit FIMSA in December this year to study how Azerbaijan has been implementing Basel principles.
In her turn, Ms. Ambassador Muriel Peneveyre spoke of the close relations between Azerbaijan and Switzerland, pointing out the meeting between Mr. Jean-Rene Furnier, President of the Canton Council of the Swiss Confederation, and President Ilham Aliyev in October this year in Azerbaijan. She also gave a high praise to FIMSA’s recent business credit developments, and overall positive accomplishments. Speaking of economic cooperation between the two countries, the ambassador stressed her appreciation of SECO’s involvement in promoting the bilateral partnership, and conveyed her anticipation of Mr. Alberto Hernandes, the newly appointed Deputy Regional Director for South Caucasus, SECO, would also do a great job in his new capacity.
Taking the floor, Ms. Daniel Myuli, the new Regional Director for South Caucasus, SECO, pointed out that a new 4 year (2021-2024) strategic plan is being prepared for SECO’s engagement with South Caucasus countries, and requested FIMSA’s input for potential areas of collaboration.
As the meeting wrapped-up, the guests were invited to a SCRMA tour, involving a detailed overview of how to login, file notices and search data, and a practical demonstration of the Registry’s operation, as well as a brief Q&A.