Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan in the U.S. and AIFC jointly held a Roundtable on Women’s economic empowerment and investment into women entrepreneurship

On March 5th, 2021 the Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan in the United States of America and the Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC) jointly held a virtual roundtable on Women’s economic empowerment and investment into women entrepreneurship.

The list of participants from Kazakhstan included Dr. Kairat KelimbetovChairman of the Agency for Strategic Planning and Reforms of the Republic of KazakhstanGovernor of the Astana International Financial Centre, Ms. Aigul KuspanChairwoman of the Committee on International Affairs, Defense and Security of the Majilis of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Ms. Lazzat RamazanovaChairwoman of the Commission on Women’s Affairs, Family and Demographic Policy under the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Chairwoman of the Council of business women of NCE RK “Atameken”, Mr. Erzhan KazykhanovKazakhstan’s Ambassador to the U.S.

The United States government and agencies were represented by Mr. Dean ThompsonActing Assistant Secretary of State, Ms. Anjali KaurDeputy Assistant Administrator of USAID, Ms. Katrina Fotovat, Senior Official, Secretary’s Office of Global Women’s Issues of U.S. Department of State, Mr. Alec PaxtonActing Managing Director, Gender Lens Investing (2X) of DFC, Ms. Theodora DellDirector of the Office of South and Central Asian Affairs of USAID (moderator).

Distinguished guests list also included Ms. Caren GrownGlobal Director of the World Bank’s Gender Group, and Ms. Penelope NaasPresident of International Public Affairs and Sustainability of UPS.

Women’s economic empowerment has a profound potential for lifting the prosperity of the modern society, noted participants of the roundtable. According to McKinsey consulting firm report if women had equal opportunities to men in running businesses, the global GDP would go up by $28 trillion by 2025. It means that the world economy would have been increased by almost 30%.

The international community pays great attention to women economic empowerment. The Gender equality and women empowerment was adopted as one of the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations. The President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Zhomart Tokayev has repeatedly prioritized gender related matters on his current agenda.

According to some reports, the hit of the pandemic on women was much harder than on men. To overcome these conditions, the countries should build constructive dialogue to search the for the solutions.

The Round Table was devoted to building bilateral cooperation between Kazakhstan and the United States as well as International Financial Organizations in the area of women economic empowerment. The dialogue was featuring the discussion on international mechanisms for expanding business opportunities for women entrepreneurs and Kazakhstan’s efforts to strengthen women’s economic rights within the country and in the region.

It was highlighted at the roundtable that being the powerhouse of the region Kazakhstan is well prepared to lead the long-term partnership with the United States and other international stakeholders in promoting women’s empowerment and entrepreneurship in Central Asia and a broader region.



The Astana International Financial Centre was created by the initiative of the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Leader of the Nation, Nur-Sultan Nazarbayev as part of the “100 steps to implement five institutional reforms” national program. The Centre’s development strategy until 2025 was approved by the Management council of the AIFC during the council’s meeting on July 2, 2020. In accordance with the strategy, the vision of AIFC is in becoming the leading financial centre in the region that includes Central Asia, the Caucasus, EAEU countries, western China, Mongolia, and Eastern Europe.

The mission of the AIFC is in assisting the sustainable and long term development of the region. As the head of state Tokayev noted, “AIFC, with its unique opportunities, can act as a universal platform that connects the countries in the region.” The strategic directions for the sustainable development of the AIFC include the development of a circular economy, financial technologies, and “digital financial centre.” https://aifc.kz

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