WASHINGTON, May 1, 2012 – The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors today discussed and welcomed a new World Bank Group Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) with Kazakhstan for 2012-2017. The objective of the Strategy is to help the Government of Kazakhstan advance implementation of country development agenda through a high impact program, concentrating on key priorities of competitiveness and jobs, improved governance through higher standards and accountability in public administration and service delivery, and safeguarding the environment. In addition, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) will promote the development of private sector through the investments and advisory operations in support of economic diversification, and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) will continue to support financial and manufacturing sectors.
“Over the past decade, Kazakhstan has made impressive policy strides and built a record of strong macroeconomic management, strengthened public financial management, and shifted resources towards social services and critical infrastructure to improve the lives of its population,” said Sebnem Akkaya, World Bank Country Manager for Kazakhstan. “The new Country Partnership Strategy aims to work with Kazakhstan to broaden and deepen these achievements to help the country grow sustainably and inclusively through diversification, bolstering human capital, building world-class institutions, infrastructure and environmental standards. Our partnership is built on the premise of cutting-edge knowledge transfer, capacity enhancement and implementation support, bringing benefits that go well beyond funding.”
The main instrument of the strategy will be knowledge activities through the Joint Economic Research Program, complemented by selective investment projects in strategic high-impact areas. The CPS will continue the well-tested tradition of a flexible architecture that responds to the client’s development agenda, retaining focus on interventions where the Bank has a comparative advantage, drawing on its pool of knowledge from the frontiers of development research and experience.
The 2012 – 2017 Country Partnership Strategy was prepared in close dialogue with the Government of Kazakhstan and nongovernmental stakeholders to identify development priorities and ensure broad-based participation in the Strategy’s implementation. The strategy is organized around three broad areas of engagement:
- Improving competiveness and fostering job creation, with a focus on (i) strengthening fiscal discipline and trade openness; (ii) expanding non-oil sector exports and employment; (iii) re-invigorating financial sector; (iv) strengthening knowledge for sustained growth, (v) improving energy transmission to poor areas; (vi) building transport connectivity, lowering costs;
- Strengthening governance and public services, with a focus on (i) improving governance; (ii) strengthened budget and accounting institutions; (iii) reforming social protection system; (iv) sharpening strategic approach to health reforms;
- Ensuring development is environmentally sustainable, with a focus on (i) safeguarding the environment; and (ii) raising energy efficiency.
The strategy also acknowledges the role Kazakhstan can play as a provider of experience, and assistance in the Central Asia region and in a broader regional context. The Bank will continue to promote regional cooperation in energy, water, transport, trade, and communicable diseases.
IFC’s strategy in Kazakhstan is fully consistent with its regional approach focusing on access to infrastructure, strengthening the financial sector, and supporting diversification and competitiveness. The Corporation will maintain its current focus on strengthening the financial sector in the short term, with medium term efforts targeting infrastructure. It will also promote SME development particularly in agribusiness, manufacturing, and services. The establishment of best practices in international banking, corporate governance and the regulatory environment will be targeted through IFC advisory work and investment projects with strong demonstration effect.
Kazakhstan joined the World Bank Group in July 1992. Since then, the World Bank has become a major development partner with commitments of US$ 5.6 billion for 39 projects. IFC committed a total of US$ 404 million with 11 clients. The Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) has supported 11 projects for a gross exposure in Kazakhstan of US$ 399.3 million.