The country partnership strategy (CPS), 2012-2016, for Kazakhstan is designed to make the economy more competitive and diverse in order to sustain growth and create jobs. It defines a new development partnership with ADB that is relevant and responsive to Kazakhstan’s goal of transitioning to a high-income country.

CPS 2012-2016 underscores the need for sustaining infrastructure investments to boost productivity of the economy and promote diversification. It recognizes that the private sector has to become the main engine of growth over time. It includes measures to support the business environment for private sector development and identifies key operational areas for working directly with the private sector to support its role.

Knowledge exchange is central to the partnership between ADB and Kazakhstan. Knowledge products and services will support institutional improvements and reforms. Knowledge support will also deepen policy dialogue between the two partners on development issues.

Strengthening the financial sector to support growth and diversification is an important part of the partnership. Expanding access to finance for small and medium-sized industries will support entrepreneurs and create new jobs and economic opportunities. Developing nonbank financial markets will generate long-term domestic finance for infrastructure development. Support for local currency finance will deepen the bond markets and diversify the financial system.

In addition, the partnership will help Kazakhstan take advantage of its strategic Eurasian location through regional cooperation in transport, energy, and trade facilitation. ADB’s support will focus on upgrading the road network along the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) transport corridors and strengthening regional trade and transport links.

The proposed country operations business plan (COBP), 2014-2016, supports the CPS’s strategic directions of economic development and diversification through infrastructure modernization and finance sector development, including improved access to finance for small and medium-sized enterprises. The main cross-cutting CPS themes of regional cooperation, private sector development, knowledge solutions, environmental sustainability under climate change, governance, and institutional strengthening are promoted under the COBP.