ASTANA, KAZAKHSTAN – Asian Development Bank (ADB) President Takehiko Nakao signed a groundbreaking cofinancing framework with Kazakhstan Prime Minister Karim Massimov at the opening ceremony of ADB’s 47th Annual Meeting today in Astana. The agreement sets forth a new paradigm for partnership on the country’s development agenda. The signing was witnessed by the President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev.

Enhanced cooperation under the framework will be cofinanced, in part, by the ongoing program announced by President Nazarbayev to tap the National Fund of Kazakhstan for 1 trillion tenge ($5.5 billion) to support industrial policy, small and medium enterprises, and the banking sector. Through the new cofinancing framework arrangement, ADB will assist the government in implementing its development program by providing efficient and effective stewardship of resources drawn from the country’s sovereign wealth fund.

“ With an emphasis on economic diversification, sustainable development and inclusive growth, this framework builds on the remarkable 20-year partnership between ADB and Kazakhstan,” President Nakao said. “We look forward to enhancing our cooperation to facilitate a more diversified economy with improved competitiveness.”

To date, ADB has been a key development institution in Kazakhstan, delivering a total of $3.2 billion in the form of 25 public sector loans since 1994, 68 technical assistance projects with a value of $31 million, and six private sector projects at $455 million.

Under its current Country Partnership Strategy, ADB’s $1.6 billion public sector investment program addresses the financial sector, small and medium-sized enterprises, improvements in infrastructure, private sector development, and regional cooperation and integration. ADB augments this program with investments through its private sector operations with instruments including equity, debt, and guarantees.

The Government of Kazakhstan is hosting ADB’s Annual Meeting of its Board of Governors for the first time and the theme of the gathering is “The Silk Road: Connecting Asia with the Changing World.”  The meeting runs from 2 May to 5 May and is bringing together more than 3,000 delegates, including top policymakers, business leaders, media, academics, civil society, and development institution representatives.

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