EBRD and Kazakhstan agree partnership to boost reform and investment
Baku, Azerbaijan, May 23
By Elena Kosolapova - Trend:
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the government of Kazakhstan have agreed on a ground-breaking partnership that will boost investment and drive forward reforms in the country, the bank said on May 23.
The Partnership for Re-Energising the Reform Process in Kazakhstan will engage the world's major international financial institutions, including the EBRD, to channel $ 2.7 billion provided by the Kazakh government into important sectors of Kazakhstan's economy. The money will be provided by the country's Oil Wealth Fund and other sources.
The Partnership will enable the EBRD - already the largest non-oil and gas investor and the largest foreign investor in the country - to significantly increase its investment in Kazakhstan. Government grants, provided by the new fund, will be used to co-finance projects that may not be otherwise possible. The Partnership will also provide enhanced and broader policy dialoguze and technical cooperation.
"This agreement takes our cooperation with the government of Kazakhstan to an entirely new level. It means that the EBRD will facilitate the successful implementation of the national industrialisation strategy, thanks to its delivery capacity and project know-how," EBRD Managing Director, Olivier Descamps said.
The programme will be managed by a coordination council consisting of the participating international financial institutions and chaired by Kazakh Prime Minister Karim Massimov. Each of the participants will focus on their areas of strength.
The government envisages the following priority areas under the Partnership: financial sector, small and medium-sized enterprises, innovation, skills, investment climate, regional development and institutional reforms. The EBRD will focus on priorities outlined in the recently adopted country strategy, namely diversification of the economy, energy efficiency/green economy and rebalancing the role of the state in the economy.
Since the beginning of its operations in Kazakhstan, the EBRD has invested close to $6.5 billion in the country's economy, with more than half of the bank's projects supporting the private sector. In 2013 alone, the EBRD invested over $500 million.