A picture taken January 23 shows a view of Astana. [Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP]
ASTANA -- The Kazakhstani government and the London-based European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Thursday (December 21) signed an agreement "to continue joint efforts aimed at the modernisation and diversification of the national economy", according to an EBRD statement.
The new three-year accord builds on the Partnership Framework Arrangement between the EBRD and Kazakhstan for Enhanced Co-operation for Promotion of Sustainable Development and Growth signed in May 2014.
The recent agreement covers "the continuation of joint activities in attracting investments, the development of the financial and small business sectors, the stimulation of entrepreneurship and sustainable regional development", the statement said.
"Over the past three years, our joint work within the Partnership Framework has helped boost investments and has driven forward a number of significant reforms in the country," EBRD Director for Kazakhstan Agris Preimanis said.
"I would like to commend our Kazakh counterparts for the effective work of the Co-ordination Council and for their financial contribution to various investment projects," he said.
The two parties have achieved "tangible results" in different areas of co-operation, including innovation, investment climate, regional development, institutional reforms and municipal sector development, according to Preimanis.
"In current circumstances, when the global competitiveness of countries depends on investments, technology development and human capital, the co-operation and support from international financial institutions is crucial for our country," Kazakhstani Minister of National Economy Timur Suleimenov said.
"In this regard, we put the highest value to expanding co-operation with the EBRD and look forward to a further fruitful partnership," he said.
The EBRD has invested more than 7.3 billion euros (2.8 trillion KZT) in various sectors of Kazakhstan's economy to support the private sector.
Presidents of Central Asian countries overall called 2017 a year of changes and said they foresee further innovations in 2018.
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