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July 21, 2016

From 23-24 June 2016 in the city of Tirana, Albania, the 19th MFC Annual Conference was held by the Microfinance Centre.  A lot of visitors from different countries, including Armenia, participated in the conference. The primary purpose of the meeting was to raise the efficiency and provide those specialized in microeconomics and finance with new ideas. MFC undertook three different study tours to highlight innovative aspects of the members’ practice.  The tours put the emphasis on access to finance for female entrepreneurs; the cooperative model in Albania; and expanding financial inclusion with branchless banking.

The two representatives from Armenia included the Executive Director of “CARD AgroCredit” UCO Mr. Karen Petrosyan, and “Masis” Branch Manager Mr. Mkhitar Azatyan. According to Mr. Azatyan, the MFC organizes similar kind of conferences in different countries annually. Moreover, he mentioned that they faced a lot of discussions related to finance and got acquainted with various organizations in Tirana. He is very impressed with the MFC conference and the efficiency it has raised.

The MFC Conference of Tirana improved the practical skills of the members, creating an opportunity for them to share their ideas about the sphere. For instance, during the session related to the prevention of over-indebtedness of the clients, the members analyzed their knowledge about the previous crises. Furthermore, they learned how to make a right decision about the level of debt aiding the clients to decide to choose a local or foreign currency. Through practical and theoretical knowledge, MFC provided members with an appropriate education.

While participating in different sessions the members met a number of influential figures in the economic sector. They met with the Minister Finance of Albania, Mr. Kalin Radev, Chair of the Albanian Microfinance Association, Mrs. Herjola Spahiu and Minister of Agriculture, Mr. Edmond Panariti.  Other prominent figures were the moderator-panelists of various sessions, such as:  “Microfinance in the Cloud.” At this meeting, the organizers discussed the efficiency issues and lower transaction costs. The members found out new funding opportunities and new products and services.