ASTANA – The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) recently appointed Agris Preimanis its new Director for Kazakhstan, one of the bank’s largest states of operations where it has invested more than $8 billion. The Oxford-trained expert has lived and worked in Almaty since 2014.
“This is a critical period for Kazakhstan as the country aims to improve competitiveness and to modernise, adjusting to new global economic realities. I am excited to take up the role of director for Kazakhstan at this time and will work to ensure that the EBRD remains one of the key investors in the country and a key partner for Kazakhstan in its reform efforts. The non-extractive sectors in the country will be key for the EBRD, as well as working towards improved connectedness and a greener, more sustainable energy sector,” said Preimanis, according to the press service of the bank.
EBRD First Vice President Phil Bennett announced the decision March 30 during his visit to Almaty. Agris Preimanis is a Latvian citizen, a DPhil in financial economics and has worked with the EBRD since 2010. He had served as Regional Lead Economist in the Central Asian region since 2014.
Preimanis developed close links with EBRD partners in Kazakhstan in government and business supporting policy engagements and investment in the country. He is an acting member of the Operating Committee and a co-chair of the Innovative-Technological and Economic Development Working Group of the Foreign Investors Council of Kazakhstan.
Preimanis has been working with the Kazakh government and private Kazakh companies to strengthen the competitiveness of the economy. He also supports creating better connectivity and developing a solid banking sector and Kazakh national programme.
Preimanis replaces Janet Heckman, who was promoted to EBRD Managing Director for Southern and Eastern Mediterranean in January and moves to Cairo now.
The EBRD has been investing at record levels in Kazakhstan under an innovative Enhanced Partnership Framework Arrangement with the Kazakh government since 2014. The bank has invested more than $8 billion focusing on diversification of the state’s economy and promoting the non-oil and non-gas sectors of Kazakhstan. The EBRD Advice for Small Business programme is assistant thousands of small and medium-sized businesses in all regions of the country.