BAKU, Azerbaijan, June 28. The Board of Directors of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has approved a new strategy for Kazakhstan, setting out the Bank’s priorities in the country for the next five years, Trend reports citing the EBRD.
The strategic approach to operations in Kazakhstan will be based on the following three pillars.
- Fostering private sector competitiveness, connectivity and strengthening economic governance: the EBRD will promote digitalisation of private companies, support state digitalisation strategies and facilitate investments in smart technologies across the municipal, transport and energy sectors. It will be financing key infrastructure, including roads and railways, and help develop alternative transport routes under the EU Global Gateway initiative. The Bank will also work with the authorities to strengthen the regulatory framework for public-private partnerships (PPPs). In the financial sector the EBRD will concentrate on providing finance and capacity building for local banks, enhancing the use of the tenge overnight index average (TONIA) to promote local currency lending and scaling up its Trade Facilitation Programme.
- Supporting Kazakhstan’s green pathway to carbon neutrality and climate resilience: the EBRD will continue to finance renewable energy projects and help integrate renewables into the national power network. The Bank will support the development of a decarbonised and climate-resilient energy system. Special attention will be paid to the development of carbon markets, cleaner energy generation and the reduction of air pollution. It will continue supporting the authorities’ drive to develop Paris Agreement aligned strategies. The EBRD will finance and advise companies, including small businesses, on decarbonisation and will support green municipal and transport infrastructure projects.
- Promoting economic inclusion and gender equality through private sector engagement: the EBRD will promote an inclusive and diverse workforce, and support joint public and private sector reviews of skills, including digital and green skills, to better reflect labour market needs. It will work with Kazakhstan’s financial regulator to promote inclusive lending practices by financial institutions, help build their capacity aimed at inclusion and support women-led businesses. The Bank will be providing financing for businesses in the regions of Kazakhstan, improving intra-regional connectivity and supporting digital solutions. The EBRD will also be working with various stakeholders to promote corporate social responsibility activities in the regions to improve the local business environment.
In 2022 the EBRD marks 30 years since Kazakhstan joined the Bank. With more than US$ 10.3 billion invested in the country to date, this is the largest and longest-running uninterrupted banking operation of the EBRD in Central Asia.