DUSHANBE, February 24, 2011, Asia-Plus  -- International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) are launching the second phase of the IFC Central Asia Corporate Governance Project in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, the IFC Dushanbe Office reports.

The project helps local companies and banks to strengthen corporate governance practices and thereby improve their operations and enable easier access to finance.

In addition to seminars, workshops and in-depth consultations, the project will also build the capacity of small and medium enterprises to manage risk and recover from the crisis.  The project will also support government efforts to improve the legislative framework related to corporate governance, and help universities incorporate corporate governance into their curriculum.

“The UK Department for International Development sees the introduction of corporate governance standards in Central Asia as great value for money from UK aid,” said Sobir Qurbonov, Economic Advisor for the Department for International Development.  “Corporate governance is a very important precondition for a favorable investment climate.”

By 2015, this project could facilitate approximately $14 million of additional investments into the corporate and banking sectors of Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan.  New investment would generate jobs in the private sector and improve access to finance for the region’s banks, which is one of the UK Government’s development policy priorities.

“Good corporate governance is an important element of companies’ long-term growth, adding value to businesses and bringing them better performance,” said Caroline Bright, IFC Project Manager.  “The project reflects IFC’s strategy to promote sustainable private sector investments in developing countries.”

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in developing countries.  It creates opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives.  IFC does so by providing financing to help businesses employ more people and supply essential services, by mobilizing capital from others, and by delivering advisory services to ensure sustainable development.  In a time of global economic uncertainty, its new investments climbed to a record $18 billion in fiscal 2010.

The Department for International Development (DFID) is the part of the UK government that manages Britain''s aid to poor countries and contributes to the global effort to lift the poor out of poverty. DFID has offices in around 40 developing countries and provides aid to around 90 countries.  It works with governments of developing countries as well as charities, businesses and international bodies, including the World Bank, UN agencies and the European Commission.