New First Vice President heads delegation at Global Challenges Summit in Astana
Deeping the EBRD’s engagement with Kazakhstan the Bank’s new First Vice President, Jürgen Rigterink, will be visiting the Central Asian country at the end of this week for meetings with the authorities and businesses, to sign new investment projects and head a prominent delegation at the Global Challenges Summit in the capital Astana from 17 to 19 May.
During his visit First Vice President Rigterink will meet Prime Minister Bakhytzhan Sagintayev; Deputy Prime Minister Erbolat Dossaev; Minister of Energy Kanat Bozumbayev; the Chairman of the state holding company Samruk-Kazyna, Akhmetzhan Yessimov; the Chairman of the Board of Directors of JSC KazTransGas, Kairat Sharipbayev; the Akim of Astana City, Asset Issekeshev, and the Governor of the Astana International Financial Centre, Kairat Kelimbetov.
He will sign a loan agreement to support the financing of a 50MW solar power plant in Baikonyr and a water project with the municipality of Shymkent.
At the Global Challenges Summit First Vice President Rigterink will participate in a roundtable chaired by Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbajev and is expected to reiterate the Bank’s support for the country in line with its country strategy. To date, the Bank has invested over US$ 8.7 billion in the economy of Kazakhstan, which is among the top five EBRD countries of operations.
Mr Rigterink will outline the Bank’s support especially for transport and infrastructure projects, ranging from the replacement of railway rolling stock and the modernisation of key motorways to the creation of a new logistics infrastructure across the country. The EBRD is helping the country create an efficient infrastructure as part of the Belt and Road Initiative, so Kazakhstan can take advantage of related transit flows.
The EBRD First Vice President will also underline the Bank’s goal to help Kazakhstan increase its arable land, the production of grain and other value-added agricultural commodities in order to become the region’s breadbasket.
The development of capital markets is one of the key driving factors of the national economy of Kazakhstan. In this respect the establishment of the Astana Financial Centre, in which the EBRD has been involved closely, can help the country’s capital become one of the business and financial hubs of the new Silk Road under the Belt and Road Initiative.
The EBRD is also a leading investor in the development of renewables and building on this the First Vice President will pledge further support to make Kazakhstan’s economy green and energy efficient. The development of renewable energy projects can become one of the drivers of growth for the country and significantly improve its competitiveness, Mr Rigterink will emphasise.
The EBRD delegation will also include Natasha Khanjenkova, Managing Director, Central Asia and Russia; Agris Preimanis, Director, Head of Kazakhstan; Artur Radziwill, Director, Country Economics and Policy; Aida Sitdikova, Director, Head of Energy, Russia, Caucasus and Central Asia; Ekaterina Miroshnik, Director, Head of Infrastructure, Russia and Central Asia.