Almaty is Eurasian Union's Frankfurt in the making: Kelimbetov05 june 2014, 16:48
Governor of the National Bank of Kazakhstan Kairat Kelimbetov declared that Almaty may become Eurasian Union's Frankfurt, a Tengrinews correspondent reports from today's PR-forum in Almaty, where Kelimbetov is a special guest.
During the forum, a Kazakh opinion leader Zhanat Berdalina asked Kelimbetov as to why he believed that Almaty could become the region's new financial center.
Kelimbetov said that this question dates back to 2004. “At that point, insufficient government regulation led to problems that we are still facing now. For example, we are number one in the world by non-performing loans and our consumer lending is overheated. There are many problems, but we working on solving them. What we had and still have is brain: we have trained a large number of people who can continue developing this sector [the financial sector]," Kelimbetov said.
Kazakhstan is at the “crossroads of grand tectonic shifts in geopolitics and geo-economics. When Western countries and China will be entering the Middle East, Europe and Russia,” they can do it via Kazakhstan, the National Bank's chief said. “It is in our best interests that Russia communicates with China through Kazakhstan. We are part of a large economic space,” Kelimbetov said.
Speaking about Almaty's prospects of becoming a regional financial hub, Kelimbetov reminded that the new Eurasian Economic Union Commission was headquartered in Moscow, while the headquarters of the Eurasian Court were in Minsk. "So, we assume that we can get the headquarters of the Union's financial regulator … There is no way to be sure if we get the honor, but by investing into this, Kazakhstan can become a much more attractive country. If we take this opportunity, we may become a sort of a 'Kazakhstani Frankfurt of the Eurasian Union'. This will make 'Almaty' brandname resonate in a new way," Kelimbetov said.
This is not the first time when Kelimbetov declares that Almaty holds a potential to become a financial hub. Citing the Global Financial Centres Index earlier this month he said that Almaty was ranked 58th out of the 83 financial centers covered in the rating, which put it ahead of Moscow, Warsaw and Manila.
Reporting by Roza Yessenkulova, writing by Dinara Urazova, editing by Tatyana Kuzmina