Kazakhstan creates all conditions to attract investors

By Aynur Karimova

Kazakhstan has created all of the necessary conditions required to attract foreign investors, claims Yerlan Khairov, the chairman of the Investment Committee of the Investment and Development Ministry.

Speaking to journalists in Astana on June 24, Khairov said that besides excises and VAT, Kazakhstan applies stable tax legislation as a part of investment contracts. The country also grants the right to employ a foreign labor force beyond the quota for a period of more than 1 year for construction contracts, reconstruction, or completion of a construction project.

"Many foreign investors, who thought about what country to invest, got an attractive offer," he said. "There is no secret that we initially focus on the countries whose representatives will not only make sound investments and bring effective management when entering the Kazakh market, but also introduce completely new technologies into production, which will make our industrial enterprises much more competitive," he noted.

He went on to add that the Kazakh government took unprecedented measures to create the most comfortable conditions for foreign investors. In particular, foreign businessmen do not need to go to the state agencies for the relevant documents, since the Ministry of Investment and Development handles these claims.

"Since 2016, we plan to do this already for all investors. We are also planning to transfer to the e-government platform to eliminate all contacts between civil servants and investors. It will be possible to obtain all permits online thanks to the electronic document management," Khairov said.

Kazakhstan has also created the investment climate monitoring system. The Council of Foreign Investors, envisioned by the Kazakh president, addresses strategic issues, while the Council for Improvement of Investment Climate, created under the prime minister, is engaged in the systematic issues, as well as improvements on tax legislation and customs duties. Kazakhstan’s investment ombudsman is focused on resolving investor problems.

"When many foreign companies see how the business climate is favorable in our country, they take a landmark decision on the reinvestment. That is, they take an independent decision on the further expansion of their business in Kazakhstan: the construction of new factories and enterprises, financing of new infrastructure projects," Khairov concluded.

Borisbiy Zhangurazov, the chairman of the National Export and Investment Agency Kaznex Invest, in turn, said the agency is working to attract at least 10 trans-national corporations to Kazakhstan's manufacturing industry. Currently, Kaznex Invest is planning to establish three to four joint ventures with anchor investors.

"First of all, we give priority to the metallurgy, petrochemical, oil refining, engineering, construction materials, and food production sectors. Our Kazakhstan Industry Development Institute under the Ministry of Investment and Development has identified niche projects that can be implemented in these sectors. They may be of interest for investors in terms of marketing and development. Secondly, we select those investors who are interested in our region," he noted.

Zhangurazov also said the trans-national corporations will be chosen to operate in those sectors where they will not compete with local businesses and will not hinder their activities.

"Kaznex Invest will open its representation in all regions of the world with an aim to have a direct access to investors," he added.

Kazakhstan is set to continue attracting foreign investment in various sectors of the economy. To realize this goal, the country has developed a draft law on the improvement of the investment climate in the country. It plans to offer benefits to foreigners investing at least $20 million in new projects throughout the country.

The law is also aimed at stimulating further activities, providing a mechanism for investment incentives through investment contracts, as well as ensuring state support to investors and implementing investment projects in important sectors of the economy.

Analyses prove that Kazakhstan is on the list of top countries in terms of foreign direct investment, which amounted to $180 billion in 2013.

Kazakhstan is interested not only in foreign investments, but also in domestic funds. The country plans to allocate over 164 billion tenges to financing national geological projects in 2015-2019.

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Aynur Karimova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Aynur_Karimova

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