ASTANA – The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) invested a record amount in the Central Asian region in 2015. Total investment in 2015 increased 75 percent reaching $1.5 billion, according to ebrd.com.
“The EBRD is ever more dedicated to the market transition of the economies of Central Asia, and last year’s record investment is only one of the areas where the bank has boosted activity. We are also actively engaged in supporting policy reform on green energy, diversification, the investment climate and the role of the private sector. An upcoming EBRD-FT Central Asia Investment Forum on Feb.18 in Istanbul will discuss ways of boosting investment in the region even further,” EBRD Managing Director for Turkey and Central Asia Natalia Khanjenkova said.
The bank invested record amounts in Kazakhstan, reaching $765.7 million in 2015, which surpassed the $613.4 million invested in 2014. Mongolia and Tajikistan tripled and quadrupled investment compared with the previous year, keeping up speed in Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan. Kazakhstan got the largest total volumes of investments.
EBRD responded to another challenging year for financing in 2015 by delivering a huge impact on the ground in over 30 countries where it operates through record investments of $10.2 billion. The rise in investment from $9.6 billion in 2014 came as emerging markets worldwide witnessed the worst year for capital inflows since the start of the global financial crisis in 2008 and as banks continued to reduce their exposure to a number of EBRD economies.
Economic conditions are expected to remain challenging in 2016 with global forecasts revised down at the start of the year and the continuing weakness in commodity and energy prices likely to carry on putting pressure on some of the larger resource-dependent EBRD countries.
However, the EBRD has begun its 25th anniversary year with a very strong pipeline of projects and the bank will complement a continued high level of financial engagement with an increase in support for policy reform that helps to improve the overall investment climate.