ASTANA – Kazakhstan’s Foreign Ministry held a roundtable Nov. 21 to introduce the country’s policy to improve the investment climate and priority sectors of the domestic economy within the framework of the new Nurly Zhol economic policy.
Addressing participants of the roundtable, including foreign ambassadors and other representatives of the diplomatic corps, First Deputy Foreign Minister Rapil Zhoshybayev stressed that taking into account the objectives of the policy as announced by President Nursultan Nazarbayev to promote rapid modernisation and industrialisation of the domestic economy, the government will be paying special attention to improving the investment climate and attracting investors to priority projects in the country. To this end, Zhoshybayev urged the diplomatic corps to intensify economic and commercial cooperation with foreign partners.
Minister for Investment and Development Asset Issekeshev briefed foreign diplomats on the results achieved during the first five years of the State Programme on Accelerated Industrial and Innovative Development (SPAIID), priorities of its second five-year plan and measures undertaken by the government in support of foreign investors.
Issekeshev stressed the advantage of Kazakhstan’s geographical location in the heart of Eurasia, with the Silk Road and major overland routes through the country binding Asia and the Pacific Region with the Near East, Middle East and Europe. He stated that in the framework of the new economic policy, great attention will be paid to developing infrastructure and establishing logistical hubs, including construction of the Western Kazakhstan – Western China highway, crude oil pipelines and dry ports.
While Kazakhstan gains a considerable share of profit from the export of oil and other mineral resources, the new economic policy is focused on shifting away from increasing mined deposits, extraction volumes and the export of raw materials and to more output of finished products with high added value, Issekeshev explained. The year 2010 became an important stage in Kazakh economic development, as SPAIID for 2010-2014 was adopted. Its main objectives were to create new export-oriented high-tech manufacturing, infrastructure development, national innovative system strengthening and local personnel development.
Reflecting on the results of the first five years of industrialisation, Issekeshev emphasised that according to the annual Doing Business report for 2014 by the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation, Kazakhstan was ranked 50th in ease of doing business. In terms of individual indicators, it ranked 22nd in protecting investors and 18th in taxation. Thanks to favourable conditions to conduct business, large foreign and multinational companies such as Toyota, Danone, LG, Peugeot, Alstom, Sanofi, GE, POSCO, Kia and Philips started operations in Kazakhstan. Issekeshev also highlighted that going forward, the government will give priority to those companies that are ready to share technologies and conduct joint trainings.
A representative from the Kaznex Invest National Agency for Export and Investment informed the roundtable participants of Kazakhstan’s economic achievements and investment attractiveness. Issues such as existing tax benefits, including exemption from customs duties on the import of equipment, its components and spare parts, raw materials and supplies and tax exemptions (zero percentcorporate income tax and land taxfor 10 years and zero percent property tax for eight years), were underlined.
The event included an exchange of opinions among foreign diplomats on prospects for investment cooperation between Kazakhstan and their individual countries. They expressed determination to inform their business communities on the available opportunities to implement mutually beneficial investment projects in Kazakhstan.
Heads of foreign diplomatic missions and international organisations accredited in Kazakhstan attended the event.