The EU is providing loans worth €220 million (£181m) in total to support small and medium sized companies’ projects in Kazakhstan, “predominantly in the areas of climate change and environmental protection”.
The Development Bank of Kazakhstan (DBK) is getting €120 million (£98.7m) while Sberbank Kazakhstan will receive €100 million (£82.2m) to lend to SMEs in the country.
SMEs in Kazakhstan currently employ around 2.5 million people or 28% of the workforce compared to them representing around 95% of all companies and providing 70% of employment in most OECD nations, the European Investment Bank (EIB) said.
Wilhelm Molterer, EIB Vice-President responsible for lending operations in Kazakhstan said: “These first ever EIB loans granted in Kazakhstan will foster private sector development by improving the access of SMEs and midcaps to long-term finance.”
At the same time, he said, the EIB funds will aid the nation’s 2050 Strategy to develop a “sustainable and efficient economic model to further Kazakhstan’s goal of becoming one of the world’s 30 most developed countries.”
Last month a London-based bank loaned Kazakhstan $40 million (£24m) to support the nation’s drive to improve energy efficiency across its railways.