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Esquel & Standard Chartered to establish Microfinance program
Jan '08
Esquel Cotton Investment Limited and Akesu Esquel Agricultural Development Company Limited signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Standard Chartered Bank (China) Limited (Standard Chartered Bank) on a Microfinance program in Urumqi, aiming to assist local cotton farmers in enhancing productivity, increasing income, and improving living standards.

This is the first time that a foreign bank has been involved in establishing a complete Microfinance program lending directly to farmers in China.

According to the MOU, Standard Chartered Bank – as a strategic partner of Esquel – will be investing significant resources in establishing a pilot operation of the Microfinance program.

This program is to be launched in Baishiairike Village, Wuluquele Town, Awati County, Akesu District, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, and Standard Chartered will contribute to the program in areas like credit policy framework, credit assessment processes, loan management processes, and cooperation strategies with credit cooperatives.

This joint program will initially provide working capital loans, without pledge or guarantee, to local cotton farmers. The loans will be disbursed to the farmers through an Entrustment Loan arrangement with the local Awati Credit Cooperatives.

Today's program launch culminated with the signing of the first batch of loan contracts with some cotton farmers, and the loans will be released through Awati Credit Cooperativesto them as working capital soon.

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