OREANDA-NEWS. May 25, 2016. Ms. Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), issued the following statement today at the conclusion of her visit to the Republic of Kazakhstan:

I would like to express my gratitude to the Kazakh authorities for welcoming me during my visit to Astana and for hosting an important regional roundtable discussion. During my visit, I had the opportunity to meet with President Nursultan Nazarbayev, Prime Minister Karim Massimov and the most senior members of their economic team, as well as high-level officials from other countries in Central Asia. I also met with representatives of the private sector and I had the pleasure of giving a speech and discussing Kazakhstans opportunities with students at Nazarbayev University.

During my conversations with the Kazakh authorities, I commended the country for its achievements during the 25 years since independence. The country faces new challenges due to the decline in commodity prices and the slowdown of key regional economies. The authorities have taken steps to address these challenges, notably floating the tenge, which will help the economy adjust. Going forward, it will be important to modernize policy frameworks, create more efficient and transparent institutions, and deepen Kazakhstans into regional and global markets.

The regional roundtable with senior government officials from neighboring countries provided a unique opportunity to share views on the economic issues facing the region. We were able to deepen the dialogue about the strong policy responses needed to tackle challenges and the many opportunities ahead. We at the IMF believe that Central Asia region can increasingly serve as a bridge between Europe and China and serve as a hub for new activities in logistics and communications, energy and green industries, and agriculture.

The IMF has enjoyed a strong relationship with the Kazakh authorities and the region for the past 25 years. We remain committed to this partnership as the countries move forward to face future challenges.