The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is widening its support for Nestlé’s operations in Uzbekistan, offering a €7.5m (US$8.4m) guarantee to the company to enable it to access local-currency finance.

The deal, said the EBRD, would not only boost Uzbek banks, but also local dairy producers, whose milk will be used by Nestlé to produce drinking milk, milk powder and other products.

The guarantee builds on earlier plans for the EBRD to lend Nestlé €2.5m through Uzbek commercial bank UzJilSberbank. The Swiss multinational has operated in the country since 1999.

Speaking in the Uzbek capital Tashkent, EBRD Secretary General Johnny Akerholm, said the project would be important for Uzbek agribusiness.