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Kazakhstan has made impressive policy strides: World Bank

22 may 2012, 17:07
Kazakhstan has made impressive policy strides, Tengrinews.kz reports citing World Bank’s Vice President for Europe and Central Asia as saying at the meeting with Kazakhstan Prime-Minister Karim Massimov.

“Kazakhstan has made impressive policy strides - absorbed large resource-based earnings responsibly, strengthened public financial management and business climate, and allocated resources for improved social services and critical infrastructure to sustain growth. As a long standing partner, we were privileged to both support and witness this process,” Philippe Le Houérou said.

The World Bank notes an increase of Kazakhstan GDP per capita from $1,515 in 1992 to $11,245 in 2011. Thus, the bank states, its status was lifted from the lower to the upper-middle income country. A sharp growth of 8.3 percent in average effected a significant decrease of the poverty level from 46.7 percent in 2001 to 6.5 percent in 2010.

The World Bank’s assistance in the first years of Kazakhstan’s independence was focused on reforming financial and private sectors. In 2000s the program included the projects of the institutional development, restoration of the environment and development of infrastructure. The partnership strategy for 2012-2017 maintains the emphasis on knowledge transfer to support key priorities of Kazakhstan’s development: diversification, institutional development, investments into human capital and development of infrastructure. Starting from 1992 the Bank gave Kazakhstan 40 loans totally worth over $6.7 billion.

The Bank also states that Kazakhstan is a pioneer and currently serves an example for other countries in development of the Joint Economic Research Program (JERP). High-level brainstorming sessions are key components of the JERP. On May 19 World Bank’s Vice President for Europe and Central Asia Philippe Le Houérou and Kazakhstan Prime-Minister Karim Massimov co-chaired the brainstorming sessions on development of the social sector. The World Bank’s experts and external knowledge leaders discussed the lessons from the best international practice with the government to define technical approaches to reforming the social sector.

“As an upper-middle income country, Kazakhstan is gaining a more prominent place on the international arena. Last year, Kazakhstan brought its development assistance function to the next level by becoming an International Development Assistance (IDA) donor to assist low-income countries globally,” the message states.

Philippe Le Houérou also stressed: “We expect Kazakhstan to play a bigger role as a provider of experience and assistance in the region over the coming period. Kazakhstan has a large potential to help stabilize energy and water in the region and to enhance the integration of Central Asia to the world markets through transit corridors and modern customs services.”

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