Ms. Zarine Aziz president FWBL address at the international conference at Dhaka

November 29, 2005
Ms. Zarine Aziz President First Women Bank Ltd. urged the importance of holistic policy formation and creation of enabling environment for women to eradicate poverty, in the region.

She was speaking as a keynote speaker on the second day of the two days international Conference under the auspices of the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and South Asia Enterprise Development Facility (SEDF) on “Bridging the Gap between Micro and SME Finance” in Dhaka today.

Speaking on the topic “Women Entrepreneurship and the Transition from Micro to SME Finance” she categorically said that access to credit alone is not sufficient to economically empower women.

Referring to the unique model of the First Women Bank Ltd. Ms. Aziz said that FWBL is a unique because our credit policies are designed to promote asset ownership by women for which we segregated our credit division in Micro, SME and Corporate. FWBL is a first commercial bank and a DFI first ventured into support services required to navigate the obstacles obstructing the development of business.

She said in 2001 we launched the more powerful product which core purpose to truly identify, support and empower women in business with five important facets; legal counseling, tax consultancy, marketing, credit management and trade finance.

She said that bank believes that a micro-borrower of today is a potential SME and a corporate client of the future. She stated that micro finance and SME portfolios are the biggest revenue generators of the bank with recovery rate of 96 percent.

Ms. Aziz reiterated our mission is to promote economic prosperity and self reliance in women of Pakistan by transforming the status of women from passive beneficiaries to dynamic agents of change.

Experts and beneficiaries of Micro credit and SME attended the conference from all over the world.

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