World Bank Vice President for Europe and Central Asia Visited Kazakhstan

March 22, 2011

Astana, March 22, 2011 – Mr. Philippe Le Houérou, the Vice President for Europe and Central Asia of the World Bank visited Kazakhstan on March 17-18, 2011. The visit included meetings with high level government officials, donor organizations, and visit of the Electricity Transmission Rehabilitation Project site.

As part of his visit, Mr. Le Houérou met with the Prime Minister Karim Massimov, and discussed with the Government multi-ranging areas of cooperation, Kazakhstan’s development priorities over the medium-term, and recent IDA membership, as well as key regional issues such as security and water/energy cooperation.

For Kazakhstan, 2010 was a year of successful recovery of its economy from the world crisis and further development,” said Mr. Le Houérou during his meeting with the Prime Minister. “During our 20 years of cooperation we productively partnered with Kazakhstan on its development agenda and successfully introduced innovative instruments such as the Joint Economic Research Program which became a new brand for the World Bank and is a good evidence of our successful cooperation. As a development institution, the World Bank is ready to provide further assistance in support of Kazakhstan’s overall economic development program, drawing the positive lessons of this successful partnership as a basis to a new Country Partnership Strategy to help the government diversify the economy and move to the next level of development.”

The visit agenda also included meetings with the Deputy Prime Minister Yerbol Orynbayev and the Minister of Transport and Communication Abelgazy Kussainov where the current status of World Bank and Kazakhstan’s partnership on several joint programs as well as opportunities for future collaboration were discussed.

During the visit, Mr. Philippe Le Houérou visited the Astana 500kV substation, modernized through the Electricity Transmission Rehabilitation Project funded by the World Bank in 1999-2009 to see the results of this project. The Project assisted the Government and KEGOC to improve the quality of electricity supply, develop a competitive electricity market, and restructure KEGOC into an efficient grid company.

Several meetings with high level representatives of Samruk-Kazyna and the other stakeholders in Astana allowed to discuss the Government’s post-crisis development program.

The World Bank’s overall mission in Kazakhstan is to help the Government in achieving diversified and sustainable economic growth and improving the living standards of population. To date, the Bank has provided 37 loans to Kazakhstan with the total amount of over 5.5 billion US dollars.

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