BAKU, Azerbaijan, Jan. 21
By Nargiz Sadikhova - Trend:
International Finance Corporation (IFC) looks to play a key role in helping the government achieve its economy diversification goals, IFC’s Regional Manager for Central Asia Cassandra Colbert told Trend.
“The development agenda recently launched by Kazakh government provides a blueprint for IFC’s strategy in the country. In particular, the government has signaled that it is seeking to diversify the economy and increase the role of the private sector. This aligns with IFC’s global objectives, which is why we want to play a key role in helping the government achieve its goals,” Colbert said.
She noted that IFC therefore looks to increase private participation in traditional segments of the economy, especially agribusiness and infrastructure, while also involving the private sector in developing urban centers and smart cities.
“There is one example that we are particularly proud of. Last September, Almaty city received a BBB investment rating—on par with Kazakhstan’s sovereign rating—from Fitch, a major international ratings agency. IFC guided Almaty in preparing the documentation to apply and throughout the process of obtaining the rating,” Colbert said.
She added that receiving an international credit rating is an important step in enhancing the city’s ability to attract commercial long-term financing for its growing needs.
“Our objective here was to spur investment in modern infrastructure and help Almaty deliver efficient and sustainable services to improve the quality of life of its residents,” she said.
Talking about development of Kazakhstan’s ‘green’ economy, she noted that Kazakhstan has good potential to develop a green economy and put in place incentives that encourage the sustainable use of natural resources.
“The country needs to transition to a less energy and carbon-intensive economy. One step in this direction would be to diversify its electricity generation, 80 percent of which is now coal-based. Kazakhstan ranks among the top 10 most energy-intensive and carbon-intensive economies in the world and has one of the globally top 10 most polluted cities,” Colbert said.
Investments are needed to both rehabilitate existing assets and develop new power projects, the bulk of which should be in renewables, she concluded.
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