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Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Development Bank of Kazakhstan (DBK) to exchange information for expanding trade between Japan and Kazakhstan and promoting Japanese investment in Kazakhstan.

The Development Bank of Kazakhstan is an official financial institution established in May 2001 to support exports, develop domestic industries and promote direct investment from abroad by providing medium and long-term loans as well as loan guarantees.

To date, JBIC has approved loans to Kazakhstan for oil refinery rehabilitation, supported the country’s stable balance-of-payments, as well as providing ODA loans to Kazakhstan to support social infrastructure such as water supply and sewerage.

Immediately after independence, Kazakhstan’s economic conditions deteriorated, affected by declining economic activity in the former republics of the Soviet Union. However, as Kazakhstan stepped up its transition to a market-oriented economy and advanced its oil field development, the economy has posted significant growth in recent years. The accumulative amount of direct investment from Japan to Kazakhstan only reached a little less than Y200mn in March 2002, yet Japanese businesses have recently had a growing interest in the country as an export and investment destination, and an expansion of trade and investment is expected in the future.

Past JBIC loans to Kazakhstan were limited to the government or cases where there was a government guarantee. However, taking the opportunity of the MOU signing, JBIC will exchange trade and investment information with DBK, and consider a wider range of financial support measures for export and investment by Japanese businesses in Kazakhstan.