Eurasia Development Bank hoping to attract investment into Central Asia with Almaty conference

Eurasia Development Bank hoping to attract investment into Central Asia with Almaty conference
Eurasia Development Bank hoping to attract investment into Central Asia with Almaty conference / bne IntelliNews
By Ben Aris in Berlin May 11, 2023

The Eurasian Development Bank (EDB) will host a conference for major investors in infrastructure and ESG project in Almaty, Kazakhstan on May 15-17 to promote inter-regional and sustainable investments as well as climate issues.

Set up 17 years ago, EDB is the leading development bank in Eurasia and counts Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Russia as shareholders in its $7bn of share capital, with Uzbekistan expected to join later this year. Russia recently reduced its stake in the bank from 66% to 44% and is expected to reduce its stake further as other countries are invited to join the share capital.

Its portfolio consists principally of projects with an integration effect in transport infrastructure, digital systems, green energy, agriculture, manufacturing, and mechanical engineering. The Bank’s operations are guided by the UN Sustainable Development Goals and ESG principles.

Already a member of the “family of development banks” EDB is the local expert on project risk assessment in Central Asia, its main focus of operations, and works with a multitude of other multilateral development banks (MDBs) such as the Asian Development Bank, the African Development Bank, the EBRD and the New Development Bank (aka the BRICS bank) among others.

The conference in Almaty will be the bank’s first major investment conference in several years and be held along with meetings of the Association of Development Financial Institutions in Asia and the Pacific (ADFIAP) in Kazakhstan’s biggest city of Almaty.

ADFIAP is a non-governmental organisation in consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council. Its mission is to advance sustainable economic, environmental and social development and growth in the region. ADFIAP co-ordinates development banks and financial organizations and currently has 90 member institutions in 39 countries, including those outside the region such as Canada, Germany and France. The EDB has been a member of ADFIAP since 2022.

Commenting on the conference and the 46th ADFIAP Annual Meeting, Nikolai Podguzov, chairman of the EDB management board, said: “We are happy to showcase the opportunities offered by Kazakhstan and the whole of Central Asia to such a wide range of investors. I am confident that this event is an opportunity to combine the efforts of national and international development institutions, exchange experience in implementing projects, establish new contacts, and expand co-operation in sustainable financing.”

The event will bring together more than 150 CEOs, board members, senior officials and representatives of development finance institutions and investment funds to discuss the role of these institutions in building sustainable infrastructure. The agenda will include panel sessions on financing transport, communications, energy and digital infrastructure, which are crucial for sustainable socioeconomic development at the national and regional levels.

The financial institutions attending the event will represent more than 40 countries, including China, Turkey, Japan, India, the Philippines and the United States, as well as countries in the EU, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East. International organisations, including the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and United Nations Development Program (UNDP), will also be present.

The conference will feature a special session to present the investment potential and projects in Kazakhstan and Central Asia as the world’s fastest-growing region.

"Our efforts are dedicated to ensuring that this meeting serves as yet another significant milestone towards substantial improvement of the infrastructure in the Central Asia region, further development of transport and logistics routes and provision of the region with additional water and energy resources that are in the greatest demand," Podguzov said.