Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, 25 October 2016 – The Hon. President of Kazakhstan, H.E. Nursultan Nazarbayev, on an official visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, on Tuesday granted audience to the President of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group, H.E. Dr. Bandar Hajjar. During the meeting, which took place at President Nazarbayev’s residence in Riyadh, the two leaders discussed ongoing relations between IsDB and Kazakhstan. President Nazarbayev praised the outstanding cooperation between IsDB and his country and congratulated Dr. Hajjar on his recent assumption of duties as the new IsDB Group President. President Nazarbayev underlined the important role IsDB plays in supporting socio-economic advancement in Kazakhstan and all the Bank’s member countries. He said that he looks forward to enhancing this role through the program 100 Steps, which is designed to introduce structural and economic reforms to Kazakhstan. The program also envisages the launching of Astana International Financial Center as a center of excellence for financial services, including Islamic Banking, at regional and global levels. President Nazarbayev emphasized IsDB’s contribution to the implementation of his initiatives at member-country level, especially in the area of food security and the Islamic Infrastructure Integration (Triple I) initiative. President Nazarbayev called on IsDB to provide technical support in the fields of development and Islamic finance, particularly to help build capacity and create economic diversity that will boost Kazakhstan to the top 30 economies of the world by 2050. Dr. Hajjar extended his appreciation to the Hon. President of the Republic of Kazakhstan for his high confidence in IsDB and its activities. Dr. Hajjar also underlined IsDB’s strong commitment to promote ties and strengthen economic relations with Kazakhstan and to render support to the country’s priority areas. “The IsDB Group shall do its utmost to provide the required technical assistance to support President Nazarbayev’s initiatives and vision for Kazakhstan and joint Islamic action,” Dr. Hajjar stated. Dr. Hajjar presented a report to President Nazarbayev on the modes of ongoing cooperation between Kazakhstan and the different entities of the IsDB Group. The report outlines the significant resources the Group has dedicated to supporting foreign trade, insurance, and public and private sector development in Kazakhstan, especially for the Astana International Financial Center. Dr. Hajjar added that the IsDB Group will launch video links between its relevant departments and Kazakhstan to provide real time follow up of ongoing projects. The Republic of Kazakhstan joined IsDB in 1995. Since then, the country has maintained solid cooperation with the Bank, which has provided nearly US $1.2 billion of financing to the country for 31 development projects. The Bank has also financed US $800 million in foreign trade for the country with the objective of promoting intratrade among its member countries.