(AGI) - Astana, Sep 13 - New Asian Development Bank (ADB) Country Director for Kazakhstan Giovanni Capannelli assumed office yesterday and reiterated support for the government's efforts to promote economic diversification and inclusive growth. "Making the economy more competitive, diverse, and resilient to adverse external factors is critical to create good jobs, sustain economic growth, and ensure equitable development in Kazakhstan," said Mr. Capannelli, according to the official ADB statement. The previous ADB Kazakhstan director, Jinlin Yang, passed away due to heart attack in Astana Airport on March 27. Mr. Capannelli, an Italian economist, joined ADB in 2002. Prior to this appointment, he was ADB's principal economist in the Central and West Asia Department and had held various other positions in ADB and the ADB Institute. He holds a doctoral degree and a master's degree in Economics, both from the School of Economics of Hitotsubashi University in Tokyo, Japan, and a bachelor's degree in Economics from the School of Political Economy of Bocconi University, Milan, Italy. Since joining ADB in 1994, Kazakhstan has received around $4.4 billion in sovereign and non-sovereign loans for agriculture and irrigation, education, finance, transport, water supply and sanitation sectors. Regional cooperation initiatives under the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation Program remain an integral aspect of ADB operations in Kazakhstan. ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, ADB in December 2016 will mark 50 years of development partnership in the region. It is owned by 67 members - 48 from the region. (AGI) .