Asian Development Bank lends $400 mln to Kazakhstan

18.05.00 00:00
/IRBIS, May 18, 00/ - Almaty office of REUTERS informed today that according to the resident representative of Asian Development Bank (ADB) in Kazakhstan, Khong Veng ADB plans to lend about $400 mln to the country within the next 4 years. "ADB and the government of Kazakhstan reached an agreement on economic assistance from ADB for years 2000-2003. During this time, Kazakhstan will receive from ADB in credits $400 mln and in grants $16 mln," said Mr. Khong on today's press conference. The activity of ADB in Central Asia will be concentrated, according to Mr. Khong, on assistance to economic reforms, social development and life quality improvement. There are three projects ADB is ready to finance in 2000: - locust control (by request of the government) - $10 mln; - farming development - $35 mln; - rehabilitation of Almaty-Bishkek highway - $60 mln in co-financing with EBRD and EU. Mr. Khong said that in year 2001 ABD intends to finance 4 projects including small business development, improvement of women and children's life, water-supply project in rural areas of Southern and Central regions of Kazakhstan and support project for rail-road company. The volume of financing for these projects has not been defined yet. "The loans, for the most part, will be given under the government guaranty. However, recent ADB mission conducted research of the private sector in Kazakhstan. On this ground, private sector loans will be given without government's guaranty," said Mr. Khong. Kazakhstan joined an ADB membership in 1994. By now, the ADB granted 10 loans of total $415 mln and technical assistance of $15 mln. ADB credits have been distributed to support pension reform, agriculture, improvement of education management system, water resource system and reconstruction of Gulshad-Akchatau road segment of Almaty-Astana highway. "ADB portfolio performs well in Kazakhstan," remarked Mr. Veng. He added that ADB, which main priority in Asia is poverty eradication suggested to the government of Kazakhstan to undertake researches on evaluation of poverty level to define further necessary volumes of assistance. According to the World Bank, 30% of Kazakhstan's population in 1998 were below poverty line. In 1999, about 43% of population were under poverty line according to the government.