Government held meetings with investors from 30 countries across the world in the lead-up to Industrialization Day in Astana

Today in Astana on the eve of Industrialization Day, the Government of Kazakhstan, headed by the Prime Minister Bakytzhan Sagintayev, discussed topical issues of investing in Kazakhstan with representatives of more than 100 major international companies.

As Prime Minister Bakytzhan Sagintayev noted, the main goal of the event is the formation of a large-scale and sustainable strategy to stimulate the process of attracting the investments of "new generation" to Kazakhstan.

During the day, more than 100 representatives of international companies, financial organizations, embassies, non-governmental organizations, foreign media from 30 countries of the world are considering investment proposals and business prospects with heads of the state and quasi-public sectors and leading businessmen of the country.

The event was attended by heads of international companies, such as Nasdaq, Mitsui & Co., Master Card, Yildirim Holding, World Bank, COSCO Shiping, COFCO, China Gezhouba International Engineering, Calik Holding, Alstom, Aberdeen Standard Life, Tokyo Rope, Marubeni, ENI, Farm Frites, ROSATOM, Cottonex, CIS-Airbus Group and others.

During the plenary session "Kazakhstan's Economic Reform Program: Challenges and Opportunities" Bakytzhan Sagintayev told the forum participants about the measures being taken in the country to develop the investment climate and expanding investment opportunities.

First, Kazakhstan took the path to economic growth. Thanks to the adopted measures, the GDP growth in the 10 months of 2017 reached 4%. Private investments and the population’s consumer activity are recovering.

Second, the implementation of new large-scale reforms (constitutional reform, modernization of public consciousness, a new model of economic growth) marks the country's entry into a new stage of development and will significantly advance Kazakhstan on its way to the top 30 developed countries of the world.

Third, recently launched Third Modernization of Kazakhstan, due to the massive technological renewal, opens new opportunities for investors in various sectors of the economy: metallurgy, machine building, the AIC modernization, processing and food industry, etc.

Fourth, constantly developing transport and logistics "leg" for entering the key world markets increases the attractiveness of the country for business. Investments in infrastructure are rapidly growing.

Fifth, Kazakhstan timely introduces innovations. A roadmap for digitalization of the basic sectors of the economy has been prepared, together with interested partners, it is planned to significantly increase labor productivity in enterprises, including industrial ones.

Sixth, investors get access to the largest markets through Kazakhstan's integration policy. Integration within the Eurasian Economic Union opens large perspectives for investors.

Seventh, legislative framework is continuously improving. Astana International Financial Centre is not only a financial instrument of integration with the foreign stock exchanges, but a centre where investors could settle economic disputes in accordance with the principles and norms of the British legal system with proceedings in the English language. As of 1 January 2018, in accordance with exterritoriality principle, any investor irrespective of project implementation location within Kazakhstan will be able to apply to AIFC. 

Eights, market share of the state is shrinking. 902 companies are to be transferred into competitive environment. Investors are welcomed to participate in the second large-scale privatization.

In his presentation, Bakytzhan Sagintayev noted that “according to PriceWaterhouseCoopers and the World Bank, Kazakhstan comes 18th in terms of favorability of investment climate out of 189 countries”.

Kazakhstan is also ranked 36th out of 190 countries of the world on the World Bank Doing Business ranking. Improvements are recorded for all 10 component indicators, including 1st position in “Protecting of Minority Investors”, and 6th position in “Enforcing Contracts”. Nevertheless, the Government is focused to further promote Kazakhstan in Doing Business rating, thus the new 7th package of legislative amendments has been prepared to improve business environment at national and sub-national levels.   

Prime Minister Bakytzhan Sagintayev also confirmed the commitment of the Kazakhstan’s Government to the policy of creating the most favorable conditions for investors.  In pursuit of this matter, the new national investment strategy was adopted in 2017, also, the national company “КazakhInvest” is working with its network of foreign and regional branches.  In addition, in the Embassies of Kazakhstan to the key countries, Investment Advisers to Ambassadors will be appointed.

Separately, for promotion of export producers, Specialised Export Promotion Strategy and national company “КazakhExport” are developed to address the needs of export-oriented manufacturers.    

The Government has also undertaken critical measures to support investment and entrepreneurship development.

On “business de-regulation”:

  • 60% reduction in requirements for monitoring and control of enterprises of small and medium business;
  • 3-times reduction in the number of licences and permits;
  • 40% reduction in planned tax inspections. 

On “curbing red-tape and increasing on-line services through E-government”:

  • New draft Tax Code incorporates protection of interests of responsible taxpayers;
  • New Subsoil and Mineral Resources Management Code provides for possibility of rendering mineral resources management rights for a period reduced from 18 months to 10 days applicable to solid commercial minerals;
  • Customs Code stipulates priority of electronic declaration, allowing 6-times reduction in time required for release of goods by customs;
  • Draft Law on governance of free economic and industrial zones includes simplification of licensing procedures and new additional benefits for investors.  

Speaking of importance of contribution by local executive authorities to improvement of investment climate, Bakytzhan Sagintayev commented that in 2017, new system of appraisal was introduced to measure regions on ease of doing business. The main focus is on enhancing protection of investors’ rights and ensuring transparency in allocation of land for industrial entities.    

Special attention is given to the matters of liberalization of approaches to attract foreign labor. “New generation” occupations are critical for the attainment of the goals of Kazakhstan’s Third Modernization program and simplification of arrangements for public-private partnership.

Protection of private property, rule of law and transparency are the guiding principles for the work of the Government in 2018. In addition, tailored road map is ready for implementation of OECD member-states recommendations, standards and best practices in the national legislation.   

In conclusion, Prime Minister Bakytzhan Sagintayev emphasised intention of the Government to create the best business conditions.

  • Improvement of public advisory and consultancy services to investors – feedback to be provided in English language within 10 days of application.
  • Provision of public services to foreign in English language starting from 2020.
  • All the key regulatory and legislative documents are to be published in English language on web-sites of the Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and national company “Kazakh Invest”.
  • Simplification of admission procedures – introduction of electronic visas for foreign investors, enhanced border control, registration and security.  

The following discussion on “Private Investments in Manufacturing, Economic and Social Infrastructure of Kazakhstan: Incentives of Growth” addressed the issues of transit potential of Kazakhstan, as a countrty linking Europe and Asia.

Panel discussion “Industry 4.0 – New Phase of Economic Modernisation of Kazakhstan” focused on possibilities of introducing modern technological solutions related to use of industrial internet of things, 3-D printing, robotics, big data analysis, artificial intellect, machine learning at local enterprises. Discussion participants exchange views on regulatory and legislative framework to govern technology introduction. 

11 agreements and memoranda worth $3 billion were signed as part of Kazakhstan Global Investment round table:

  1. Record of negotiations with consortium on “Almaty Big Circuit Auto Road” project;
  2. Memorandum of Understanding on public-private partnership project on establishment of “Nur zholy” motor vehicle crossing point within section of the auto road “Western Europe – Western China”;
  3. Memorandum of Understanding on the project “Construction of an Agribusiness Complex in Almaty Oblast and a Diary Farm in Zhambyl Oblast”;
  4. Memorandum of Understanding on the project “Production of Plant Protection Products”;
  5. Memorandum of Understanding on the project “Construction of Fruit Processing Facility”;
  6. Memorandum of Understanding on the project “Construction of Industrial Complex for Produce and Processing of Meat”;
  7. Memorandum of Understanding on the project “Construction of High-quality Lime Production Facility”;
  8. Protocol of Intentions on establishment of Aina Holdings B.V. company and purchase of equity stake in “Diary Farm “Aina” limited partnership;
  9. Memorandum of Understanding on the project on production of soda ash;
  10. Investment Agreement on the project “Production of Ceramic Tiles”;
  11. Agreement on Joint Venture under the project “Construction of Gas-Fired Power Station”. 


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