IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has joined forces with the Central Bank of Algeria to help improve access to finance and growth opportunities for small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
IFC held a conference and workshops in partnership with the Bank of Algeria to explore best practice in SME banking, including improvements to the regulations currently governing SME finance, the existing financial infrastructure, and bank products dedicated to these clients. While SMEs represent more than 95 percent of companies in Algeria, at least half of that number struggle to gain access to banking services, denying them the opportunity to help the economy grow.
Although SMEs make an important contribution to Algeria s GDP, as in many emerging economies, they lack corresponding support from banks.
SMEs still struggle to access quality banking products in Algeria, even though they are numerous and create many jobs, said Joumana Cobein, Head of the Maghreb region for IFC. This conference brought the issue into focus, while the workshops helped participants understand banking best practice for SMEs in emerging countries.
IFC s strategy in Algeria focuses on improving the investment climate, developing the financial sector, encouraging private participation in infrastructure, and supporting the manufacturing and services sector.