ASTANA – According to the results of the Global Competitiveness Report for 2015-2016, Kazakhstan holds 42nd place among 140 countries in competitiveness, the best result in the history of Kazakhstan’s participation in the ranking, reported the National Analytical Centre under the government and the National Bank of Kazakhstan.
The overall average score of Kazakhstan is 4.49, placing the country between Poland (4.49) and Italy (4.46). The country’s institutions were also ranked higher this year, though its position worsened by three points on labour market efficiency compared to last year.
However, this year the results moved up eight positions in comparison with the results of the ranking of the previous year. Of 114 global competitive index indicators, Kazakhstan improved on 73, declined on 30 and saw no change on 11 indicators.
The biggest improvement was observed on control of international distribution (60; +31). An increase of more than 20 points was also achieved on indicators for trade tariffs, the effectiveness of anti-monopoly policies, the burden of customs procedures and local supplier quality.
In June 2014, President Nursultan Nazarbayev signed into law tax concessions to promote foreign investment, including a 10-year exemption from corporate taxes, an eight-year exemption from property tax, and a 10-year freeze on most other taxes for certain investors. Other measures include a refund on capital investments of up to 30 percent once a production facility is in operation. In 2014, Kazakhstan attracted gross foreign direct investment of nearly $24 billion. The top five investor countries in Kazakhstan between 2005-2014 are the Netherlands, the U.S., Switzerland, China and France.
Moreover, the new Nurly Zhol economic policy is, in the short term, aimed at overcoming current economic challenges. In the long-term, infrastructure development is intended to create a strong platform for new growth.
In addition, on June 26, the government of Kazakhstan expanded its visa-free regime and extended it to Dec. 31, 2017. The list now includes 19 countries: Australia, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Monaco, the Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the UAE, the U.K. and the U.S.
Kazakhstan is also a founding member of the Eurasian Economic Union, a market of up to 175.6 million consumers with overall gross domestic product of approximately $2.4 trillion. This year the country joined the World Trade Organisation, which is providing new economic opportunities. It will ensure access to foreign markets for Kazakh companies and consumers can have more goods and services to choose from.
The Global Competitiveness Index was created for the World Economic Forum by Professor Xavier Sala-i-Martin and was published for the first time in 2004. The index is composed of 12 pillars of competitiveness that characterise in detail the competitiveness of countries at different levels of economic development.
The Global Competitiveness Reports assess the competitiveness landscape of 144 economies, providing insight into the drivers of their productivity and prosperity. The reports remain the most comprehensive assessment of national competitiveness worldwide, providing a platform for dialogue between government, business and civil society about the actions required to improve economic prosperity.