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IMF to Support Caspian Countries With New Technical Assistance Center

By Azamat Batyrov December 18, 2020

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The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is an international organization, headquartered in Washington, D.C., bringing together 190 countries.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) will establish a regional technical assistance center to help some countries in the Caspian region, including Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan, strengthen their economies through a wide range of activities.

As part of a virtual ceremony held on December 14, IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva and National Bank of Kazakhstan Governor Erbolat Dossaev signed a Letter of Understanding (LoU) to establish a collaborative venture between the IMF and nine member countries. The center will be located in Almaty — Kazakhstan’s largest city and former capital.

Officials from the IMF say the document demonstrates the strong partnership and commitment between the IMF and its membership in using technical assistance to foster economic stability and inclusive growth.

“Our agreement today is a strong signal of the international community’s commitment to capacity development’s role in strengthening economies and improving people’s lives, as well as to a deep and durable engagement with the region,” Georgieva said, according to a statement published on the IMF website. 

CCAMTAC, or the Caucasus, Central Asia, and Mongolia Technical Assistance Center is supposed to become a focal point for planning, coordinating, and implementing the IMF’s capacity development activities. The list of activities includes hands-on bilateral technical assistance on macroeconomic and fiscal management, monetary operations, financial sector regulation and supervision, statistics, as well as support in designing structural reforms.

The center will also offer workshops and seminars to policymakers and other government agencies from regional countries. 

The collaborative venture will be funded through contributions made by regional member countries and development partners. So far, several countries, including Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Switzerland, and the Asian Development Bank have committed their support for the center. Other member countries of CCAMTAC and bilateral and multilateral development partners are pledging their support as well.  

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is an international organization, headquartered in Washington, D.C., bringing together 190 countries that work to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth and reduce poverty. 

Along with economic and financial surveillance, the IMF offers technical assistance and training to its member countries, such as the development of more effective institutions and legal frameworks and policies that can be used to promote economic stability and growth. In addition, the organization helps strengthen the capacity of member countries’ officials to analyze economic developments and formulate and implement effective policies.

A global network of regional capacity development centers (RCDCs) and training programs currently involves 16 centers operating across the world, with the last one opened in China in 2018. The new one will be launched in Kazakhstan to become the first of its kind in the region. The decision was made by the IMF in October 2019 after considering applications from Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Georgia.

“The location selection was based on a request and evaluation of proposals covering numerous areas, including financial support, flight connectivity, and wide-ranging administrative and logistical areas,” Carla Grasso, Deputy Managing Director and Chief Administrative Officer at IMF said last year when Kazakhstan was selected as a venue for the center.