In Kazakhstan we have the following priorities:
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.
As well as being a country where the EBRD invests, Kazakhstan is also a donor, supporting projects solely in Kazakhstan. Total contributions to the Bank from the donor are in excess of €70mn, with Kazakhstan TC Account being the main tool for its support. Additionally, Kazakhstan has also contributed to Women in Business programme.
EBRD forecast for Kazakhstan’s Real GDP Growth in 2023 3.9%
EBRD forecast for Kazakhstan’s Real GDP Growth in 2024 4.2%
In 2022, the economy grew by 3.2 per cent year- on-year despite intermittent technical disruptions at the Caspian Pipeline Consortium’s terminal in Novorossiysk threatening Kazakh oil exports. vExports demonstrated remarkable resilience amid high oil prices (up 39.9 per cent year-on-year). Growth accelerated to 4.9 per cent year-on-year in the first quarter of 2023, led by significant gains in construction (18 per cent year-on-year), fixed capital investment (16.1 per cent) and retail trade turnover (12.1 per cent). Industry (2.8 per cent) and agriculture (3.5 per cent) posted smaller growth rates. Despite efforts by the National Bank to tighten its monetary policy and scale back its involvement in financing post-Covid-19 stimulus programmes, inflationary pressures persisted amid rising transport, food and commodity prices. Annual CPI inflation peaked at 21.3 per cent in February 2023, before dropping to 18.1 per cent in March. Kazakhstan’s economic outlook stands to benefit from the relocation of foreign firms, investment in new activities related to exit of major global players from Russia and ongoing efforts to diversify transport and oil transit routes. Planned reforms to improve the business climate, reduce barriers to entry (for instance, in the mining sector) and reduce the footprint of politically exposed persons in the economy are likely, if implemented, to promote foreign direct investment and development of small and medium-sized enterprises in the medium term. Downside risks include persisting inflationary pressures and uncertainty surrounding oil and commodity prices. Overall, the economy is expected to expand by 3.9 per cent in 2023 and 4.2 per cent in 2024.