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Kazakhstan: World Bank Adopts New Strategy

Washington, 27 August 1997 (RFE/RL) - The World Bank says that Kazakhstan's "great progress" in transforming its economy to a market-oriented system has allowed the bank to approve a new country strategy for assisting Almaty.

The bank noted the drop in inflation -- it's expected to fall below 20 percent this year -- the growth in Kazakhstan's economy and the country's adoption of a basic legal framework as examples of the progress. It also singled out Kazakhstan's rapid advancement in bank restructuring, price and trade liberalization and general privatization..

Now, it says, the World Bank group will focus its future assistance in the areas of private sector development, social protection and social service delivery along with broad policy advice, strategic planning and technical assistance in sectors ranging from legal to agricultural to infrasturcture.

If the government continues to implement further sectoral and structural reforms, says the bank, lending over the next three years could reach nearly $1 billion.

The new strategy was adopted by the bank as it approved a $230 million public sector adjustment loan yesterday to help Almaty reform the administrative structure and develop the civil service, reform the budgetary processes, including taxation, and strengthen public sector investment. The loan is also to help reform policies on housing and related utilities.