EBRD forum in Beijing to promote investment in Central Asia


BISHKEK (TCA) — Highlighting the vast investment opportunities in Central Asia will be one of the main goals of the Central Asia Investment Forum (CAIF) to take place in Beijing on November 14, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) said.

The event – hosted by the EBRD and the People’s Bank of China, and also supported by the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China – is expected to bring together over 500 attendees, among them numerous international and Chinese business representatives as well as government officials from the region.

The forum will offer participants a wide range of discussion panels covering subjects including the financial sector, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), agribusiness, public-private partnership in the infrastructure sector, development of renewables and risk mitigation.

Central Asia is one of the fastest growing regions where the EBRD invests. In addition, the conference takes place at a time when the region once again is becoming an important bridge for trade and innovation between Asia and Europe bolstered by initiatives such as the BRI.

EBRD President Suma Chakrabarti said: “Central Asia is a region which needs and wants to be better connected to, and integrated with, the wider global economy. It has the potential to start playing the role it once had as a key link between the East and the West. The EBRD can mobilise high quality investment and develop business in the region and we also see an important role for Chinese investors as demand remains huge.”

In order to promote the region’s attractiveness the conference will highlight investment opportunities for Chinese companies in Central Asia. The EBRD is prepared to support transparent, high-quality and competitive investments and has repeatedly expressed its readiness to boost the Belt and Road Initiative. During the event a number of projects are expected to be signed in the infrastructure and small business support sectors.

Becoming an EBRD shareholder in January 2016 has created new opportunities for Chinese investment in the regions where the Bank operates, including Central Asia. In addition to finance, the EBRD is also offering investors expertise, risk management skills and policy engagement.

The EBRD is the largest institutional investor in Central Asia with currently close to €11.6 billion (US$ 12.3 billion) committed to over 750 projects in a variety of sectors, from infrastructure to agriculture, with a focus on private sector development.

Sergey Kwan