The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has appointed two new members, Agris Preimanis as director for Kazakhstan and Ayten Rustamova as head of office in Tajikistan, according to the Financial.

Preimanis joined EBRD in 2010 and became regional lead economist, central Asia, since 2014. Kazakhstan is one of EBRD’s key focus countries, having received more than $8bn in investments to date particularly with a view of diversifying the country’s economy.

Preimanis replaces Janet Heckman, who was promoted to managing director for southern and eastern Mediterranean at EBRD in January 2017.

He said: “This is a critical period for Kazakhstan as the country aims to improve competitiveness and to modernise, adjusting to new global economic realities.

“I am excited to take up the role of director for Kazakhstan at this time and will work to ensure that the EBRD remains one of the key investors in the country and a key partner for Kazakhstan in its reform efforts.

“The non-extractive sectors in the country will be key for the EBRD, as well as working towards improved connectedness and a greener, more sustainable energy sector.”

Ayten Rustamova joined EBRD in 2001 and most recently was a senior banker in the Azerbaijan office, where she was responsible for large infrastructure projects.

She replaces Richard Jones, who has returned to the London headquarters of EBRD.

Tajikistan has received $700m in investments from the bank to date.

Rustamova said: “I am looking forward to joining the EBRD teams on the ground in Dushanbe and Khujand and contributing to the bank’s work in Tajikistan.

“This ranges from support for farmers to projects helping the economy prepare for climate change and from the financial sector to energy and municipal services.

“As the EBRD prepares to celebrate 25 years of investment in the country, I am especially pleased to say that we are about to launch new programmes such as financing and advice for women entrepreneurs in Tajikistan.”