An International Financial Figure in King Nursultan’s court?: James Wolfensohn may take a position as advisor to the President of Kazakhstan
It is not as shocking as when Gerhard Schroeder decided to join Gazprom, but the project to which Paul Wolfensohn is signing on to is also not as well established. According to the Russian news agency “Ria Novosti”, President Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan has offered an advisory position to the ex-World Bank head, James Wolfensohn, in connection with developing Almaty into a regional financial center.
Whatever one thinks of Wolfensohn, he would certainly bring attention to the project, which intends to provide special conditions for international financial activities in the city of Almaty, making it a special economic zone. As Ria Novosti states, “Unlike elsewhere in Kazakhstan, 100% foreign ownership of financial institutions and the repatriation of profits and capital will be allowed in the zone.” While this plan has been discussed for awhile, the offer to Wolfensohn suggests that Kazakhstan is at least very serious about the project.
What’s next? Will Karimov offer a security position to Donald Rumsfield?