The International Monetary Fund (the IMF) is a specialized agency of the United Nations Organization established with a view to regulate the monetary relations of its member states and to provide assistance to its members in case of the balance of payments deficit by extending short-term and medium-term credits in foreign currency.

The IMF was established on 27 December, 1945. The IMF membership comprises 190 countries. The Board of Governors and the Executive Board represent its governance bodies. The IMF started to perform financial operations on 1 March, 1947. The IMF’s unit of account is Special Drawing Rights (SDR).

The Republic of Kazakhstan has been the member of IMF since 1992. The Republic of Kazakhstan actively supported the 2010 IMF Quota and Management Reforms through adoption of the Law of the Republic of Kazakhstan “On Ratification of Amendments to Articles of the IMF Agreement” No. 298-V of 20 March 2015, which allowed to increase the share of the Republic of Kazakhstan in the authorized capital of the IMF from 365.7 million. SDR (0.17% of the vote) to 1,158, 4 million. SDR (0.26% of votes), and the share of votes of the Republic of Kazakhstan in the IMF Swiss Sub-Group increased from 6.3% to 9.4%.

Pursuant to the Governmental Decree of the Republic of Kazakstan of 18 March 2002 No. 323 “On Appointment of Representatives of the Republic of Kazakhstan at the Boards of Governors”, the Governor of the National Bank of Kazakhstan is a member of the  IMF Board of Governors.

The National Bank of Kazakhstan has been cooperating with the IMF on a broad range of matters within the terms of annual visits of the IMF Mission in accordance with Article IV of the IMF Articles of Agreement. During such missions monetary and economic policies are discussed.

During the years of cooperation, the IMF provided technical assistance to the National Bank of Kazakhstan related to the balance of payments statistics, the lender of last resort, monetary policy, targeting of inflation, modeling and forecasting, bank supervision.  

The executives of the National Bank of Kazakhstan regularly participate in the Spring and Annual Meetings of the Board of Governors of the IMF and the World Bank Group, which serve as a platform for sharing opinions, studying best practices as well as establishing and reinforcing the international contacts.

IMF Credits to the Republic of Kazakhstan

In the past, the following loan agreements have been concluded between Kazakhstan and the IMF:

  • program for providing resources to Kazakhstan for macroeconomic stabilization and Systemic Transformation(STF);
  • the Stand-By Facility (Stand-by 1);
  • agreement on the Extended Financing Facility (EFF), whereby Kazakhstan adheres to the commitment that throughout the entire period of the EFF the Government and the National Bank of Kazakhstan do not intend to introduce or modify any currency restrictions, as well as any practice of using multiple exchange rates, enter into any bilateral payment arrangements that may contradict to Article VIII of the IMF’s Articles of Agreement, or introduce or enhance restrictions on imports on the grounds related to the balance of payments;
  • the EFF-2 Agreement which is intended to reduce the state budget deficit and accumulate international reserves.

On 24 May 2000, the National Bank of Kazakhstan repaid its liabilities on the IMF credit lines worth SDR 340.3 million ahead of the schedule. At present, Republic of Kazakhstan is not planning to borrow from the IMF.

Communication within the Swiss Sub-Group

In September 2010, the Memorandum was signed between the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Government of the Swiss Confederation on understanding and cooperation in the Bretton Woods institutions (Astana. Kazakhstan), which became the basis for the migration of the Republic of Kazakhstan to the IMF Swiss Sub-group from the Belgian Group. The IMF Swiss Sub-group includes such countries as Poland, Serbia, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan и Uzbekistan.

The National Bank of Kazakhstan is taking part in the meetings of the IMF Swiss Sub-group on a regular basis as well as actively cooperates with central banks of countries comprising the sub-group.

Visits of the IMF Executives to the Republic of Kazakhstan

On 24 May 2016, Christine Lagarde, the IMF Managing Director, visited Republic of Kazakhstan. The main purpose of Ms.Lagarde’s visit was to take part in the IMF Regional Conference coinciding the Astana Economic Forum.

During her visit, Christine Lagarde met with Nursultan Nazarbayev, President of Kazakhstan, Daniyar Akishev, Governor of the National Bank of Kazakhstan as well as with Karim Massimov, Prime-Minister of Kazakhstan, and the members of the Kazakh government who are in charge of the economic block. In the course of her visit, the IMF Managing Director also met with students of the Nazarbayev University and took part in the press conference arranged for the local and foreign mass media community.

On 16 May 2018, an IMF Regional Meeting was held with participation of the IMF Deputy Managing Director Tao Zhang. Tao Zhang’s purpose of visit was to make a preliminary assessment of the possibility to dislocate the IMF Regional Technical Assistance Center (the Center) at its premises.

On 16 May 2019, the National Bank of Kazakhstan, jointly with the IMF, conducted an IMF Regional Meeting for heads of central (national) banks and ministries of finance of countries of the Caucasus region, Central Asia and Mongolia  in the city of Nur-Sultan under the auspices of the Astana Economic Forum dedicated to the Policy of Inclusive Growth with Christine Lagarde, the IMF Managing Director, participating.

On December 15, 2020, IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva and Governor of the National Bank of Kazakhstan Erbolat Dossaev during an online ceremony signed a Letter of Agreement on support of the Regional Capacity Development Center for the Caucasus, Central Asia and Mongolia (the Regional Center), planned to be opened in Almaty in 2022.

The IMF Regional Technical Assistance Center

The IMF possesses a wide network of regional centers for professional development. Currently, there are 17 IMF regional centers which are based in Africa, South-East Asia, Europe, in the Middle East and in the America, in the Caucasus and Central Asia.

Activities of such centers are aimed at capacity development of the IMF members, strengthening the regional integration, supporting elaboration of common anti-crisis solutions as well as at satisfying the needs in economic development of the IMF member countries.

Establishing the Regional Capacity Development Center for the Caucasus, Central Asia and Mongolia

In order to develop the potential of the region of the Caucasus, Central Asia and Mongolia in 2019, the IMF decided to open a Regional Center in Almaty, which is the result of many years of fruitful cooperation between the Republic of Kazakhstan and the IMF. The beneficiaries of the region are Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan.

Taking into account the situation with the pandemic, since July 2020, the Regional Center has been holding online webinars. Also, after the official launch of the activities of the Regional Center in a virtual format in February 2021, the Regional Center began to provide consulting services (technical assistance). The opening of the Regional Center is expected in 2022.

The main goal of the Regional Center is to train and provide technical assistance to improve the competence of government officials in the region on issues of public administration, monetary and fiscal policy, as well as regulation and development of the financial sector, etc.

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