By Vusala Abbasova
The Netherlands, Switzerland and the United States become the main investors in Kazakhstan's economy over the first half of 2015, according to the National Bank of Kazakhstan.
The highest inflow of investments to Kazakhstan was from the Netherlands with $2.134 billion, the U.S. with $1.113 billion and Switzerland with $848 million investments over the reported period.
While Russia has allocated investments in amount of $576.1 million, France at $382.3 million, the United Kingdom at $367.8 million, Germany at $252.5 million, China at $241.9 million, Italy at $230.3 million, Belgium at $229.8 million and the Republic of Korea at $221.1 million for the reported period.
Kazakhstan, which announced that its main priority in economy is the creation of a favorable investment climate, has recently extended a unilateral visa-free regime for a year for citizens of Switzerland, Spain, Belgium, Hungary, Monaco, Singapore, Australia, Norway, Sweden and Finland--10 countries actively investing in Kazakh economy.
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.
According to analyses, Kazakhstan is on the list of top countries in terms of foreign direct investment with the best investment conditions in the Central Asian region.
Overall, gross inflow of foreign direct investment in Kazakhstan's economy in the first half of 2015 decreased and amounted to $7.464 billion. In the first quarter of 2015, the inflow of foreign investment amounted to $4.37 billion, in the second quarter - $3.094 billion.
In January - December 2014, the gross inflow of direct foreign investments in Kazakhstan amounted to $23.711 billion.
The largest volume of investments in the reporting period fell on the field of architecture and engineering activities and technical testing and analysis ($2.099 billion), the activities for the geological prospecting and exploration ($2.092 billion) and production of oil and natural gas ($1.551 billion).
The manufacturing industry of Kazakhstan in the first half of 2015 received $1.365 billion of foreign investment, including $898.1 million allocated for metallurgical industry and production of finished steel products, except machinery and equipment.
The wholesale and retail trade and repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles in Kazakhstan in the reporting period received $962.3 million of foreign investment.
Kazakhstan with the largest economy in the Central Asian region is keen on attracting foreign direct investment in various sectors of its national economy. The country interests in such investors who will introduce completely new technologies into production, which will make country's industrial enterprises much more competitive.
Therefore, Kazakh government has created all of the necessary conditions required to attract foreign investors, applying stable tax legislation as a part of investment contracts. Furthermore, Kazakhstan has some 10 special economic zones with full support and tax preferences, that, in turn, attract foreign investment from private companies.
According to the Kazakh law "On Investments," investors are exempt from customs duties on the import of equipment, its components and spare parts, raw materials and supplies, as well as kind grants of not more than 30 percent of the total investment in fixed assets.
The country also offers legal regulation for investment issues based on English law, with the proceedings in English involving foreign judges.
The government also considers the exemption of foreign investors from the payment of corporate and individual income taxes for 10 years.
Kazakhstan plans to transfer to the e-government platform to eliminate all contact between civil servants and investors in order to facilitate the obtaining by foreign businessmen of all permits, using electronic document management system.
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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