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Tuesday 19 June 2018

IFC to Invest $25 mln in Kazakh Food Industry


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ASTANA (IFC press service) — The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has signed an investment agreement with the group of companies KazFoodProducts totalling $25 mln, IFC has said in a statement.

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is investing $25 mln in KazFoodProducts LLP, a leading Kazakh food processing group of companies operating in grain milling and confectionary sectors, to support the company’s expansion plans and boost Kazakhstan’s agricultural sector, helping to diversify its economy while enhancing global food security.

KazFoodProducts processes and distributes flour, wheat gluten, starch, animal feed and confectionery. IFC’s financing will help the company diversify its product line and expand its packaged food business. The project is expected to create about 500 jobs, contribute to farmers and retailers through the company’s supply chain, while applying IFC’s high environmental and social standards.

“IFC’s funding is crucial for us to be able to grow our business, improve the efficiency of our operations, and contribute to the development of Kazakhstan’s agricultural sector. We consider this engagement an important milestone in our strategic vision to becoming a regional agribusiness champion”, said Alikhan Talgatbek, CEO of KazFoodProducts.

Kazakhstan is a major producer and exporter of wheat and flour, responsible for about 4% of the global traded volume. The country has the potential to further increase its grain production and play a bigger role in regional food security, especially in neighbouring grain-deficit Afghanistan and Tajikistan. With wheat already one of the country’s leading non-oil and gas exports, expanding wheat exports would also substantially diversify the economy.

“Agribusiness in Kazakhstan has enormous untapped potential since the country has a very large area of arable land,” said Georgina Baker, IFC Vice President for Latin America and the Caribbean, Europe, and Central Asia. “Unleashing that potential will help increase exports and create jobs, including in frontier regions of Kazakhstan with higher poverty rates and limited employment opportunities.”

In addition to financing, IFC’s advisory services will help KazFoodProducts pursue sustainable development by improving food safety and environmental and social standards. IFC will also help the company raise corporate governance and increase operational standards.

About KazFoodProducts
KazFoodProducts is one of the largest food processing groups in Kazakhstan. It operates through three main subsidiaries: AsiaAgroFood, a joint stock company, operating in grain milling and the country’s largest producer of flour, glucose syrup and animal feeds; Bayan Sulu, also a joint stock company, the country’s largest producer and exporter of confectionery; and BioOperations, an LLP and the country’s only plant for the deep wheat processing of starch, wheat gluten, flour, bioethanol, and animal food.

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