EBRD unveils a new 5 years' investments plan for Kazakhstan
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) announced on June 28 a 5 years strategy for Kazakhstan marking, with more than $ 10.3 billion invested in 295 projects – the largest and long-lasting banking investments in Central Asia.
The investment package is intended for 2022-2027 and addresses 3 main areas of intervention in the country.
Fostering private sector competitiveness and improving connectivity;
Supporting pathway to carbon 0 footprint;
Promoting economic inclusion, youth and gender equality.
The first series of investments have the objective of promoting digitalization in the private and public sectors in a country where a significant presence of large companies owned by politically-exposed persons, directly and indirectly, constrains private sector development, particularly in the mid-size segment causing SMEs lag in productivity. Moreover, the Bank aims to facilitate the use of intelligent technologies across local public administrations, transport and energy sectors. Roads and railways, including alternative routes, will be also financed.
Secondly, in order to target the objective of keeping global warming up to a maximum of 1,5 degrees, EBRD will finance green projects by helping to integrate renewables into the national power network. This will enhance clean energy generation, and the reduction of pollution. At the moment, the foreign largest investments (€ 761 million) in renewables come from France, UK, Germany and China. Investments in renewable are still a priority in a country where 80% of electricity is still produced by coal-fired plants. In this specific sector, the Bank is providing new funds trough with a financial package of US $ 60 million to one of the country’s largest lenders, the Bank CenterCredit (BCC), under the EBRD’s Green Economy Financing Facility (GEFF),
The third investments pillar will try to make the workforce more diverse and workplaces more inclusive, with the objective to address the gender inequalities in labour. Nowadays, the share of women out-of-labour force is 1.5 higher than that of men. Women’s pay is around 67.8% of men’s stipends, with larger discrepancies observed in the country’s west. EBRD will finally be working with various stakeholders to promote corporate social responsibility activities in the regions to improve the local business environment.