The Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) has signed an agreement with Kazakh bank Bank TuranAlem and the Eurasian Development Bank (EDB), as part of an initiative to strengthen trade relations between Kazakhstan and Japan.

Under the terms of the memorandum of understanding, JBIC will increase the exchange of information about Japan’s export and direct investment projects with the two Kazakh institutions. The agreement also sets out that JBIC will cooperate with the two banks in co-financing projects.

There are a number of projects in the Caspian Sea region of Kazakhstan that are attracting the interest of JBIC. These include the large-scale oilfield development projects in Kashagan oil fields and Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli oilfields, as well as the BTC pipeline construction project and the Kharassan uranium ore deposit development project.

TuranAlem is a private commercial bank in Kazakhstan, and previously benefited from a JBIC-backed export credit line of up to US$30mn secured in April 2004.