IMF Opens Regional Capacity Development Centre in Kazakhstan

IMF Opens Regional Capacity Development Centre in Kazakhstan
The opening ceremony of 17th Capacity Development Centre (Photo: National Bank of Kazakhstan)

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) opened its 17th Capacity Development Centre in Almaty, Kazakhstan on June 9, the Astana Times newspaper reported on Tuesday, citing the National Bank’s press service.

The newly-established Centre for Central Asia and the Caucasus (CCAMTAC) will coordinate the IMF's activities in nine countries of the region - Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.

Kazakhstan’s National Bank Chairman Galymzhan Pirmatov, IMF’s Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva, heads of international financial organizations and diplomatic missions, and representatives of government agencies, attended an opening ceremony.

 “We are opening this center to support our members across this diverse and dynamic region of close to 100 million people as they navigate a range of economic opportunities and challenges. In areas spanning fiscal, monetary, and financial policy, and statistics, CCAMTAC will help members build stronger policies and institutions that foster inclusive growth,” said Georgieva at the opening ceremony.

In an interview with Astana Times, Georgieva expressed optimism about Central Asian economies in 2022, noting that countries in the region need to accelerate market-oriented reforms. “At the IMF, we found that structural reforms could boost Central Asia's economic output by 5 to 7% in the medium term. On my trip, we plan to release an IMF paper that contains those findings,” Georgieva said.

Georgieva highlighted the IMF's ongoing efforts to assist the region in its economic recovery, including its swift and sweeping response to COVID-19. The IMF provided $800 million in emergency financing to the region. She also noted a recent Special Drawing Rights allocation of around $1.6 billion to Kazakhstan by the IMF. This allocation will boost reserves and support the country's large external buffers.