Today Central Asia is an important connection of trade and economic ties. Experts say that the given geopolitical position, the availability of energy reserves and natural resources as well as high growth rates, the region seems to be the most profitable for investments. International financial institutions showed the interest in investing projects of neighboring countries. For example, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development plans to implement the new country strategy in Kazakhstan for five years. It is aimed at commercialization of enterprises, support for small and medium sized companies, development of infrastructure within the Silk Road, investments in renewables and energy efficiency projects.

AGRIS PREIMANIS, DIRECTOR FOR KAZAKHSTAN, EBRD:

- The infrastructure and energy sector will be prioritized in 2018. We are going to invest a lot in finance, agriculture and industry. Now our capital is estimated at 2.9 billion euros. I think this proves that EBRD pays an important attention to Kazakhstan.

This year the EBRD has signed agreements to support 20 projects worth 520 million euros in Kazakhstan. The projects include construction of a solar power station "Burnoye Solar 2" with a capacity of 50 megawatts located in the Zhambyl region. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development will invest 50 million euros. The financial institution allocated more than 150 million euros for modernization of irrigation systems in Southern Kazakhstan.

AGRIS PREIMANIS, DIRECTOR FOR KAZAKHSTAN, EBRD:

- This improves irrigation and enables both people and entrepreneurs to engage in productive things in the regions of Southern Kazakhstan, where these investments will be used. Agriculture will be advanced and opportunities for small and medium-sized businesses will be given in these regions as a result of these investments. Therefore, I am especially proud of this project. This is not just a matter of advancing the irrigation canal, but also creating an ecosystem of entrepreneurs in southern regions, which will lead to even more benefits.

The Asian Development Bank also assists Kazakhstan’s economy. Within five years, the financial institution plans to invest US$3 billion in Kazakhstan. The ADB program invests in development of infrastructure, advancing management and institutions as well as creating jobs. In addition, the focus will be on protecting an environment and stimulating a technological innovation. All these directions correspond to the goals of "Modernization 3.0".

GIOVANNI CAPANNELLI, ADB COUNTRY DIRECTOR FOR KAZAKHSTAN:

- Kazakhstan has a very important role to play in the region and by investing in Kazakhstan we estimate that we can generate considerable positive externalities in central Asia. The country is obviously a hub in the region in many different ways, transport and logistics hub but also an institutional hub. The UN is going to concentrate a lot of their regional centers and agencies in Almaty.

In the next three years the Asian Development Bank also intends to invest nearly US$3 billion in a dynamically developing Uzbekistan. First of all, the ADB will finance projects that contribute to development of infrastructure in energy, transport and urban development as well as improving the quality of public services. The ADB also plans to develop small and medium-sized enterprises and agribusiness in Uzbekistan.

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