Finance • 02 July, 2018

Small and medium business to contribute to further economic growth of Kazakhstan — World Bank

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For 25 years of cooperation the World Bank has financed 46 projects in Kazakhstan. The total investment amount exceeded $8.1 billion. To date, the World Bank portfolio includes 22 projects. The correspondent of spoke with WB Vice President Cyril Muller about the main areas of mutually beneficial cooperation between Kazakhstan and the World Bank, including the implementation of major projects, plans for the near future and forecasts in the economic sector of the country.

— Cooperation of Kazakhstan and the World Bank totals more than a quarter of a century. What major projects have been realized in these countries in our country?

— In Kazakhstan, it has been a great partnership between the World Bank the Government for a long time. We focus on the areas such as energy sector, roads, and healthcare projects.

— In the Doing Business ranking over the past 10 years, Kazakhstan has risen from 64th to 36th place. In your opinion, what contributes to this and what are the further forecasts of the World Bank relative to Kazakhstan?

— Kazakhstan has really improved over the last five-ten years in its climate for businesses to grow. And it’s not only about very large companies, but also about small and medium-sized businesses. And this Doing Business ranking is very important to measure the ease of doing business for small and medium-sized enterprises. And what I’m optimistic about is that Kazakhstan will continue to improve on that. Why? Because it is small and medium-sized businesses that will contribute to the diversification and growth of the economy.

— As you know, the official opening of the Astana International Financial Center will be held soon in Astana. What, in your opinion, are its prospects?

— I think that the Astana International Financial Center has a very good opportunity to become a financial hub for the region. It is important for Kazakhstan to play this role as a hub and as a driver of economic growth in the region. And developing a strong financial center is important for that. I also hope that the World Bank Group will be able to work with the Astana International Financial Center.

—How does the World Bank intend to cooperate with the AIFC?

— This will depend on how actively the financial capital markets will develop. We will be here when the Astana International Financial Center will be launched, in early July.

— What are the main areas for further mutually beneficial cooperation between the World Bank and Kazakhstan?

I believe that it is very important to continue to build the economic potential of the country, growth of private sector, and also make sure that the human capital, so people’s capacities are to strengthen.

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