Lagarde: we don't expect quick growth of Kazakh economy in next few years
IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde doesn't expect growth to pick up very quickly over the next few years in Kazakhstan.
According to her, "the decline in oil prices has had a major impact on Kazakhstan". "The country is projected to grow by only 0.1% this year, much lower than the average growth rate of 7.5% during the last 15 years, which was quite impressive" Lagarde said in an interview with Kazinform.
"We don’t expect growth to pick up very quickly over the next few years, so this is really a big change. Now, it was important that the authorities allowed the tenge to float and strengthened the monetary and exchange rate policy framework, all measures that we think were appropriate," she said.
"We are suggesting to consolidate the accounts of the state budget, the local government budgets, as well as the so-called 'extra-budgetary' funds into one presentation," Lagarde added, noting that it will help give a clear position of the authorities’ policy objectives and operations.
She expects that "is oil prices were to stay more or less at the current levels, there may be a need for the government to respond by shifting some fiscal resources". "Some budget items should be cut to control the overall balance and create room, in order to provide more resources for social spending (which is needed to help protect the poor and most vulnerable groups of population) and for capital expenditures to help the economy grow and create jobs," RIA Novosti cited her as saying.
"There is a considerable interest in Kazakhstan as a 'bridge' between Europe and Asia. This interest and the financial resources that come with it are a great opportunity for the country and need to be channeled in a way that promotes growth and jobs," IMF Chief concluded.