Eleven agreements and memoranda worth $3 billion were signed at the Dec. 5 Kazakhstan Global Investment Roundtable, which gathered investors from 30 more than countries ahead of the Industrialisation Day in Astana.
Agreements were reached, including on the Big Almaty Ring Motor Road and PPP project on establishing the Nur Zholy motor vehicle crossing point within a section of the Western Europe – Western China highway. Others signed agreements included the construction of an agribusiness complex and fruit processing facility, production of ceramic tiles and plant protection products.
Kazakh Prime Minister Bakytzhan Sagintayev discussed economic trends, investment possibilities and measures to promote foreign direct investments (FDI) with representatives of more than 100 major international companies.
“The government aims at forming a large-scale and sustainable strategy to stimulate investments of new generation to Kazakhstan. Today’s meeting is as one of the important steps in this direction, we are open to your suggestions and new ideas,” Sagintayev, welcomed the meeting participants.
The prime minister also briefed participants on Kazakh measures to improve the investment climate and expand investment opportunities.
“Firstly, after the difficulties of 2014-2016 linked with world changes, the economy of Kazakhstan has stabilised. Thanks to the adopted measures, the GDP grew 4 percent in the first 10 months this year. For the first time, private investments exceeded the state ones,” he concluded.
He added that the implementation of new major reforms, including constitutional reforms, modernisation of Kazakhstan’s identity and the strategy on new model for economic growth implies the country’s entry into a new stage of development and facilitates the country’s ambition to enter the top 30 developed countries of the world.
Foreign investors can benefit from the country’s policy on the development of science-intensive production, the renewal of the basic branches of the economy and the agro-industrial complex, he said. The third stage of Kazakhstan’s modernisation opens opportunities for investors in various sectors of the economy, including metallurgy, machine building, agro-industrial complex, processing and the food industry.
“Today, Kazakhstan is one of the world leaders in the production of wheat and flour. We are strengthening this advantage, but we are also carrying out structural reform of the agricultural sector, diversifying crop areas in line with market demand,” he noted.
Investors gain access to the largest markets through Kazakhstan’s integration policy within the Eurasian Economic Union. The prime minister stressed the importance of establishing trade relations with neighbours to raise Kazakhstan’s attractiveness, especially with China.
“The remaining trade barriers with China will be regulated and removed as early as 2018. This will open a very large market. Agricultural, organic products manufactured in Kazakhstan are in high demand in China,” the prime minister said.
According to the PriceWaterhouseCoopers and the World Bank, Kazakhstan is 18th out of 189 countries in terms of favourability of its investment climate, Sagintayev noted. Kazakhstan is also ranked 36th out of 190 countries in the World Bank’s Doing Business ranking and was ranked first in “Protecting Minority Investors.” In addition to protecting minority investors, Kazakhstan ranked sixth in enforcing contracts.
“Nevertheless, the government is focused to further promote Kazakhstan in Doing Business rating, thus the new seventh package of legislative amendments has been prepared to improve business environment at national and sub-national levels,” he said.
“Over the last 10 years, approximately $250 billion of FDI were attracted in various sectors of the economy. We are grateful to every investor who has come to Kazakhstan and implements the projects here. We hope that their example and our today’s conversation will inspire you to conquer new business heights in Kazakhstan,” Sagintayev concluded.