Uzbekistan's best bank for SMEs 2021: Asia Alliance Bank
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Uzbekistan's best bank for SMEs 2021: Asia Alliance Bank

Asia Alliance Bank

Ikram Abdukakhorov, Asia Alliance Bank.jpg
Ikram Abdukakhorov, Asia Alliance Bank

While most young, dynamic banks had a rotten year in 2020, CEO Ikram Abdukakhorov and his team further strengthened Asia Alliance Bank’s position in everything from lending to foreign exchange.

But the real win for Asia Alliance Bank was an agreement signed in April 2020 with the Asian Development Bank providing guarantees to support Uzbekistan’s trade flows for small and medium-sized enterprises. As seals of approval go, this one is both impactful and timely.

Impactful because, as Umidjon Khakimov, Asia Alliance Bank’s first deputy CEO, puts it: “This partnership endorses our participation in our country’s economic reforms through promoting local entrepreneurs, family businesses and creating new jobs.” Plus it comes with an assist from the ADB’s triple-A credit rating.

Timely, because no sector is more on the frontlines of coronavirus-related disruptions than SMEs. A United Nations report found that Uzbekistan entered 2021 with heightened needs to eliminate bottlenecks in business development, reduce tax burdens, and provide greater options for financial assistance in order to lower lending rates and support transitions to remote work.