Farming is crucial to the economies of Central Asia, yet the region's agricultural exports are limited due to poor infrastructure, regulations, and operational industry barriers, such as weak food safety standards.
Only 20% of firms in Eastern Europe and Central Asia have female top managers. IFC’s Corporate Governance Program in ECA promotes the business case for good CG practices and emphasizes business benefits of gender diversity on boards.
Corporate governance is a relatively new concept in Central Asia. But more and more executives are beginning to understand that good corporate governance makes companies more transparent, accountable, and trustworthy.
Kazakhstan became a member of IFC in 1993. IFC began operating in the country by pioneering advisory services focused on private sector development. Since the beginning of investment operations in 1997, IFC has invested about $1.4 billion in long term finance, including mobilization from partners of nearly $300 million, to support 57 private sector projects across various industries, including agribusiness, financial services, manufacturing, and oil and gas. IFC also continues to support trade flows through short term trade finance.
IFC Strategy in Kazakhstan
IFC promotes the development of the private sector through investments and advisory services to support the diversification and competitiveness of the economy. IFC’s strategy in Kazakhstan is focused on strengthening the financial sector, improving access to infrastructure, and promoting the development of small and medium enterprises, particularly in the agribusiness, manufacturing, and service sectors.
In addition to direct investments, IFC is providing advisory services to improve corporate governance, help the government structure public-private partnerships (PPPs), and bring food safety standards to international levels.
Kazakhstan is IFC’s largest client in Central Asia. As of September 30, 2016, IFC’s committed portfolio in Kazakhstan stands at $217 million with investments in 13 projects in financial markets, agribusiness, retail, construction materials, and the railway sectors.
Details of projects currently in progress can be found in IFC Disclosure. For completed projects see press releases below or visit the IFC Press Room.