ASHGABAT (TCA) — The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is continuing to finance small businesses in Turkmenistan, where the development of private enterprise is a focus of the Bank’s investment strategy, with a new loan to a local bakery, located in the provincial capital of Mary.
The Bank said on December 27 it will provide a US$ 6 million loan, of which US$ 1 million will come from the International Cooperation and Development Fund (TaiwanICDF), to Datly Sherbet, one of the leading pastry producers in Turkmenistan.
Datly Sherbet is a sister company of local meat producer Taze Ay Onumleri, an existing client of the EBRD. Both firms sell their produce under the Taze Ay brand.
Through financing and business advice, provided by the Bank’s Advice for Agribusiness team in partnership with TaiwanICDF and the EU Investment Facility for Central Asia, the Taze Ay group has launched a number of new products and obtained international quality certification.
Now Datly Sherbet, a bakery belonging to the same family-owned holding, is planning to expand its production. The loan will be used for new equipment and working capital as part of a large investment project that is already under way. The company plans to launch several types of confectionery and bakery products – such as wafers and marshmallows – which at present are almost entirely imported. The company will also increase its production of pastry. Datly Sherbet is already exporting biscuits and muffins and plans to increase its exports once the new lines have become operational.
Engin Goksu, EBRD Head of Office in Turkmenistan, said: “We are very pleased that our continuing cooperation with this dynamic holding will result in more choice for consumers in Turkmenistan, and especially that the holding is introducing new standards of quality by providing retailers – often small privately owned shops – with refrigerators. Datly Sherbet is already offering families locally made bakery products. I am sure that the continued cooperation with the EBRD will help the company obtain the necessary international certification to boost exports. The EBRD’s support of Turkmen producers is in line with the government’s import substitution policy.”
Obtaining internationally recognised quality certification will make Datly Sherbet more competitive. Meanwhile, increasing exports will be a step towards closer integration of the Turkmen economy into neighbouring markets.
To date, the EBRD has invested €252 million in Turkmenistan’s economy, with an overwhelming focus on supporting private entrepreneurship.