EBRD, government agree to boost investment in road sector in Kazakhstan

By Svitlana  Pyrkalo
@pyrkalo

EBRD, government agree to boost investment in road sector in Kazakhstan

EBRD’s First Vice President, Phil Bennett, the Minister of Finance of Kazakhstan, Bakhyt Sultanov and the Minister for Investment and Development of Kazakhstan, Asset Issekeshev

EBRD and government sign Memorandum of Understanding, agree financing of remaining section of Astana-Almaty highway

The EBRD and the government of Kazakhstan have agreed to boost cooperation on road sector reform and investment.

According to the Memorandum of Understanding, signed between the EBRD and the Ministry for Investment and Development of Kazakhstan, the Bank will support the national economic policy known as Nurly Zhol, which envisages boosting infrastructure investment to stimulate growth in times of economic slow-down.

One of the first projects under the new agreement is expected to be the modernisation of an 80-km road section between the villages of Kurty and Buribaytal of the Centre-South road corridor, connecting the capital Astana and the largest city Almaty .

The agreement was announced in London, during the visit of Kazakhstan’s President, Nursultan Nazarbayev. It was signed by the EBRD’s First Vice President, Phil Bennett, and the Minister for Investment and Development of Kazakhstan, Asset Issekeshev. In addition, Phil Bennett and the Minister of Finance of Kazakhstan, Bakhyt Sultanov, also signed an initial agreement confirming the two parties’ interest in cooperating on the Kurty-Buribaytal road modernisation.

The EBRD expects to support road projects carried out both by state entities and private companies, including under private-public partnership (PPP) schemes.

Phil Bennett said: “The EBRD believes that modern road infrastructure in Kazakhstan is crucial both for the country’s own economy, and for boosting regional trade. We are pleased to partner with the government on this ambitious programme. Given our mandate to support private sector development, we are especially hoping to attract private initiatives and financing to the road sector.”

To date, the EBRD has invested over US$ 7 billion in Kazakhstan’s economy. In 2015 the EBRD is planning to invest close to US$ 1 billion into various sectors of the country’s economy, with a focus on diversification.