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Kazakh Prime Minister Cautions Against Capital Drain

Kazakh Prime Minister Daniyal Akhmetov in September (epa) December 12, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- Kazakh Prime Minister Daniyal Akhmetov today urged businesses to invest more in the national economy and less in foreign countries.

An official media report posted on the government's website quotes Akhmetov as saying that Kazakhstan is confronted with a "problematic capital drain."

Addressing a cabinet meeting in Astana today, Akhmetov said the government should be blamed for letting Kazakh businesses invest massively in Russia, Georgia, or elsewhere instead of pouring money into infrastructure projects at home.

Akhmetov demanded that the government draw up a list of investment proposals that will be submitted to Kazakh businessmen in the coming months.

President Nursultan Nazarbaev last month (November 15) cautioned Kazakh banks against the risk of getting too involved in international operations.

He said priority should be given to consolidating Kazakhstan's financial system and warned that overexpanding banking operations could cause a financial crisis at home.

(, Interfax-Kazakhstan)

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