EBRD President visited Kazakhstan

By Svitlana  Pyrkalo
@pyrkalo

Suma Chakrabarti met Kazakh President and government officials; spoke at Astana Economic Forum and co-chaired Foreign Investors’ Council

Suma Chakrabarti met the Kazakh President and government officials; spoke at the Astana Economic Forum and co-chaired the Foreign Investors’ Council

EBRD President Sir Suma Chakrabarti visited Kazakhstan on 26-27 May 2016, as part of a trip to three Caspian states – Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan.

The EBRD President met the President of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev, Prime Minister Karim Massimov, key ministers, the governor of the National Bank of Kazakhstan and other decision-makers. 

At the meeting between President Nazarbayev and the EBRD President the parties discussed EBRD-Kazakhstan cooperation, including the Enhanced Partnership Framework Agreement under which the EBRD co-invests with the government of Kazakhstan in sectors such as municipal infrastructure and transport. The EBRD President said that, after investing more than €1.2 billion over the last two years, the Bank would like to maintain its ambitious operational targets for the country and invest over €700 million in Kazakhstan during 2016.

At a meeting with Prime Minister Massimov and the Minister of Economy, Kuandyk Bishimbayev, President Chakrabarti discussed the EBRD’s support for Kazakhstan’s recent reforms and private sector development. They discussed the Bank’s pipeline of projects including the Almaty Ring Road, the first infrastructure public-private partnership (PPP) in Central Asia. Sir Suma mentioned the EBRD’s interest in starting to invest in hospital PPPs in Kazakhstan, after successfully pioneering the model in Turkey.

Sir Suma also met the CEO of the National Management Holding, Baiterek, Yerbolat Dossayev, and discussed potential areas of increased collaboration ‎between the two organisations. In addition, the EBRD President and a number of other speakers participated in the Astana Economic Forum.

The EBRD delegation included Betsy Nelson, Vice President, Risk; Natalia Khanjenkova, Managing Director, Turkey and Central Asia; Mattia Romani, Managing Director, Economics, Policy and Governance; Ekaterina Miroshnik, Head of Infrastructure for Russia and Central Asia; and Agris Preimanis, Regional Lead Economist.

During the visit, Sir Suma signed a number of investments totalling over €350 million in projects ranging from gas storage and distribution to water and heating utilities and dairy farming.

In his speech at the opening of the Foreign Investors’ Council (FIC), which is traditionally co-chaired by the EBRD President and the President of Kazakhstan, Sir Suma said that the Bank was investing actively in Kazakh agribusiness, following last year’s FIC discussion which focused on the development of agriculture. With regard to this year’s topic, the plan to create the Astana International Financial Centre, the President made a number of recommendations which were also mentioned in an opinion piece published in the Astana Times.

The EBRD has invested over €6.3 billion in Kazakhstan to date.