In a landmark agreement, Norfund - the Norwegian government’s investment fund for developing countries - and Proximity Designs signed a $2 million loan that will allow Proximity to extend microloans to thousands more small farmers throughout the country.
This is a significant step forward for Myanmar’s emerging microfinance sector, as it is the first loan made by a foreign financial institution to an organization operating a microfinance program in Myanmar. The breakthrough agreement demonstrates how international debt-finance can partner with local lending specialists to accelerate rural development, a key goal of the administration of Myanmar’s President U Thein Sein.
The signing, held in the Myanmar Convention Centre in Nay Pyi Taw, was witnessed by Minister of the President’s Office U Soe Thein; Minister of Finance and Revenue U Win Shein; Minister of Rural Development U Ohn Myint; Minister of Commerce U Win Myint ; the Managing Director of the Myanmar Microfinance Supervisory Enterprise (MMSE) U Win Aung; and Katja Christina Nordgaard, Ambassador of Norway to Thailand, Cambodia and Myanmar. In his speech, U Soe Thein reiterated how important access to credit was for helping farmers out of poverty.