The EBRD and the Financial Times are gathering investors, policymakers and experts in Istanbul to discuss investment opportunities and challenges in Central Asia, including Mongolia. The event is taking place on 18 February in Istanbul, Turkey, a major regional hub with strong commercial links with Central Asia.
The FT-EBRD Central Asia Investment Forum: Forging Relationships for Growth will bring together leading investors, policymakers, economists and experts in Central Asia to discuss the future of the region and the prospects for investment. This event, supported by the EBRD’s local partner, TOBB, will provide a platform to discuss the practicalities of doing business in the region, the opportunities for international investors in Central Asia and how to navigate the complexities of operating in the region.
The programme of the event includes three panels and several addresses, including from Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Şimşek and EBRD President Sir Suma Chakrabarti.
The Central Asia Investment Forum will also hear from Burak Başarır, the CEO of Coca-Cola İçecek, the Turkish company present in almost all Central Asian countries; Ambassador Ayşe Sinirlioğlu, Deputy Undersecretary for Economic Affairs, Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, will talk about Turkey’s vision of the new Silk Road links, and Wang Dan, Executive Vice President of China’s Silk Road Fund, who will talk about the Fund’s role and strategy. A welcome address will be also given by Mr Ali Kopuz, Vice President of Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB) and Chairman of Istanbul Commodity Exchange.
High-level government representatives from Central Asia will inform the gathering of the latest regulatory steps and investment opportunities. The speakers will include Rakhim Oshkabaev, Deputy Minister for Investments and Development, Republic of Kazakhstan; Aidai Kurmanova, State Secretary of the Ministry of Economy, Kyrgyz Republic; Bayanjargal Byambasaikhan, CEO, Erdenes Mongol LLC; Jamoliddin Nuraliev, First Deputy Chairman, National Bank of Tajikistan; and Muratniyaz Berdiev, Deputy Chairman, Central Bank of Turkmenistan.
Two more discussion panels will explore the end of commodity super-cycle, diversification opportunities, and building up the region’s infrastructure in the light of new Silk Road regional programmes and improved links with Russia, China and Europe. EBRD representatives, Managing Director for Energy and Natural Resources, Riccardo Puliti, and Managing Director for Turkey and Central Asia, Natalia Khanjenkova, will join the two panels.
The event will be moderated by the Financial Times editorial team: the FT Emerging Markets Editor James Kynge, the FT Moscow and Central Asia Correspondent Jack Farchy, and the FT Confidential director for ASEAN Gavin Bowring.
The forum’s local partner, the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB), will provide networking opportunities.
The EBRD, originally founded to help the newly democratic emerging Europe on its way towards the market economy, entered newly independent Central Asian countries in 1993; in Mongolia, it opened up an office in 2006; and has invested in the region over €10 billion in total.
In his welcoming speech to the gathering, EBRD President will say: “We have been committed to Central Asian economies’ market transition right from the start. We are also very actively engaged in supporting policy reform on green energy, diversification, the investment climate and the role of the private sector.”
On the same day, ahead of the investment forum, a high-level event meeting chaired by the EBRD President will see the Bank’s governors from the five countries discuss recent and future steps to improve business climate and stimulate investment and economic growth in the region at times of external economic shocks. EBRD governors are representatives of the Bank’s shareholder governments which form the EBRD’s Board of Governors.
The EBRD and the Financial Times joined up in 2014 for a highly successful Leadership Forum: Tajikistan at the crossroads in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, where government representatives and private investors discussed opportunities and issues of the day.
Follow live updates from the Forum on Twitter #InvestCA