Kazakhstan Country Update #13 July 2006 The Kazakhstan Country Updates provide information about recent developments, decisions, and civil society activities related to activities of the International Financial Institution’s (IFIs) in Kazakhstan. If you would like to be included or removed from the distribution list, please email the moderator, George Holliday at email@example.com. Correspondence with BIC may be conducted in Russian. I. IFI Project Activities Kazakhstan joins BTC Pipeline Kazakhstan officially joined the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan Pipeline on June 16, 2006 when the Kazakh and Azeri Presidents Nursultan Nazarbayev and Ilham Aliyev signed an agreement in Almaty. Kazakhstan will now be able to bypass Russian pipelines and reach its Southwestern markets through the Mediterranean Sea. EBRD takes a stake in Kazakhstan’s state-owned pension fund EBRD buys a 10 percent stake in Kazakhstan’s Accumulation Pension Fund GNPF, a stateowned pension fund and asset management company. The investment is aimed to support the transition of majority ownership and control of a leading non-bank financial institution to a strategic investor. Press Release: EBRD Buys a Stake in state-owned pension fund in Kazakhstan (EBRD website) ADB and JSC Alliance Bank (ALB) signed a $50 million loan on June 15, 2006 to enhance SME The loan is part of the diversification program intended to support non-oil sector. Press Release: ADB First Private Sector Loan for Kazakhstan to Boost Financing for SMEs (ADB website) II. IFI Consultations and Policy Updates EBRD Invites Comments on Kazakhstan Country Strategy Comments should be based on EBRD’s current country strategy and be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than September 4, 2006. The Board meeting is scheduled to take place on 17-18 October, 2006. EBRD Country Strategy for Kazakhstan IMF Released 2006 Article IV Staff Consultation Report The early report was released on June 5, 2006 and is now available on the IMF website. Republic of Kazakhstan: Article IV Consultation – Staff Report; and Public Information Notice on Executive Board Discussion EBRD Approves New Energy Policy The Bank approved a new Energy Policy on 11 July, 2006. The new policy is available on EBRD website. EBRD Energy Operations Policy (EBRD website) EBRD Releases New Public Information Policy On May 16, 2006, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development approved the new Public Information Policy (PIP). While some improvements have been made, the new policy does not incorporate many of the recommendations provided by the Global Transparency Intiative (GTI). Changes in the revised PIP include required disclosure of: salaries for EBRD management, Executive Directors and Alternate Directors; draft country strategies; a list of policies and strategies to be reviewed in the upcoming 12-months; a "black-list" of clients found to have engaged in corruption; project summary documents translated into official national languages. Civil society analyses, official correspondence with the EBRD, and other information is available from the following links: Bank Information Center Update: EBRD Approves New Disclosure Policy (BIC website) Bank Information Center’s Civil Society Guide to IFI Policy Reviews (BIC website) CEE Bankwatch network page on EBRD Safeguard Policies (CEE Bankwatch website) EBRD Public Information Policy (EBRD website) ADB Solicits Comments on the Draft Translation Framework Asian Development Bank seeks public comments on a draft Translation Framework. The framework will extend the scope of information available to the public in languages other than English (the working language of the ADB). Send the comments to: email@example.com. Comments received by 31 July, 2006 will be posted on ADB’s website through September 2006, along with the name of the organization or individual commenting, and will be considered in the next draft of the framework. Translation Framework is scheduled to be approved in October, 2006. More information is available from the following links: ADB Draft Translation Framework (PDF file) ADB Translation Framework webpage (ADB website) ADB Safeguard Policy Update Delayed The update process of the ADB’s three safeguard policies has been extended from its original timeline due to an evaluation of ADB policy implementation undertaken by OED, scheduled to end in June, 2006. Although the official deadline for suggestions has passed, the ADB continues to accept comments on the Discussion Note, which can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. ADB is scheduled to begin face-to-face consultations including 5 country-level consultations and th 5 sub-regional consultations in 4 Quarter of 2006. The Board consideration for the final paper is scheduled for November, 2007. The Safeguard Policy includes policies on: Involuntary Resettlement, Indigenous Peoples and Environment. Civil society analyses, official correspondence with the ADB, and other information is available from the following links: ADB Safeguard Policy Update Discussion Note (PDF file) Open Letter to ADB on Safeguard Policy Update: "No to Weakened Standards, Yes to Accountability" 16 March 2006 (PDF file) World Bank and IMF Collaboration to be Reviewed by an External Committee The two institutions are soliciting comments on WB and IMF Collaboration, which can be submitted to the electronic mailbox or emailed to email@example.com until September 15, 2006. IMF and the World Bank will create a six-member External Review Committee mandated by the World Bank President and the Managing Director of the IMF to examine the areas of Bank-Fund collaboration and propose improvements Press Release: IMF Managing Director Rodrigo de Rato and World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz Initiate Deeper Measures to Review and Enhance IMF-World Bank Cooperation III. Civil Society Activities BIC Executive Director Manish Bapna testifies at Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the Multilateral Development Banks Chaired by Senator Richard Lugar, the hearing focused on the development effectiveness of infrastructure projects funded by the multilateral development banks (MDBs). Discussants presented the role of infrastructure in development and how to maximize development results. Read Manish Bapna's testimony Public hearing marks the first step to victory for Berezovka villagers On May 25, 2006 villagers from Berezovka attended a public hearing, organized by activists from environmental organizations “TAN” and Crude Accountability, with representatives of Karachaganak Petroleum Operating Consortium (KPO, B.V.) and the government administration. The meeting was arranged to address concerns about the elevated volume of emissions at Karachaganak oil and gas field, the relocation of villagers and allegations of corruption. Although the KPO representative and the representatives from the ministries of the Economy and Environment did not support the villagers’ requests for more information and demands for resettlement, the community was able to secure the support of a regional Deputy to the Kazakhstani parliament, Amanzhan Zhamalov. The hearing ended with the submission of a draft recommendation from the local community to the Kazakhstani authorities, which included a request for the disclosure of the Production Sharing Agreement and a demand for the relocation of Berezovka’s villagers. KPO Listens and Corrupts the Air by Lukpan Akhmediarov, Uralsk Weekly, June 1, 2006 (Crude Accountability website) European NGOs meet with EBRD President Jean Lemierre Once again this year the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Annual Meeting in London concluded with a meeting between NGO representatives from across central and Eastern Europe and the president of the EBRD, Jean Lemierre. Discussion was wide-ranging and vigorous. The main points of the meeting revolved around the issues of NGO interventions in the extreme political and social climate in Uzbekistan, the reviews of several key EBRD policies, and an exchange of views on controversial developments that continue to plague the Sakhalin II project in Russia. CEE Bankwatch Website 2006 Annual Meeting of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank Group The next annual Meeting of the IMF and WB will take place on September 19-20 in Singapore to discuss a range of issues related to poverty reduction, international economic development and finance. In addition to the meetings of the Boards of Governors, the Development Committee and the International Monetary and Financial Committee are officially convened. World Bank 2006 Annual Meeting webpage Oslo Conference The Norwegian Government is hosting a third plenary conference, aimed at promoting and consolidating the EITI, in Oslo from 16 to 17 October, 2006. The conference’s main objectives are to expand the number of countries participating in the process and improve EITI implementation, by building on experiences gained so far. EITI Oslo Conference webpage European CSO release a statement on governance reform of the IMF The organizations call on their governments to support fundamental reforms of the IMF, including: ending inequality in decision making, opening leadership selection and making governing bodies transparent. The letter is available online on Bretton Woods Project website. IV. Additional Resources PLEASE NOTE: In addition to the above reports more information on Civil Society activities can be found in the Extractive Industry Review (EIR) Update April 2006 (also available in Russian) and on the BIC Europe and Central Asia webpage. Previous Country Updates and related reports can be found on BIC’s website on the Kazakhstan page. These reports are available in English and in Russian.