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Anvar Saideno, NBK: A guiding hand from the central bank

Anvar Saidenov, the new governor of the National Bank of Kazakhstan, speaks to Euromoney's Nick Kochan about efforts to diversify the economy, control the inflationary effects of foreign currency inflows and develop more active financial markets.

What are the principal challenges facing the National Bank of Kazakhstan today?

Anvar Saidenov: Kazakhstan must
diversify its economy and find
niches where it can be competitive.

The government and the central bank face a common challenge. That is excessive dependence on oil and gas and metals, the extractive industries. The oil and extractive resources sectors are the primary engines of growth but we need to design and construct another engine of growth, or maybe even two or three more. That is the challenge. The government has approved a strategy of innovation and industrial development and it is currently hiring experts to assess the ways to move this forward. Kazakhstan must diversify its economy and find niches where it can be competitive in the international markets.

For the moment, the country is the beneficiary of high oil prices and the government has a budget surplus and enough funds for building infrastructure and other industries. But this could change quite radically in a couple of years and then the economy could face some serious problems.

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