Astana Invest contributes to foreign investment growth, focuses on PPP projects

ASTANA – Fixed investment in the capital reached 854 billion tenge (US$2 billion) in an 11-month period in 2018, reported the Astana Invest press service. Foreign investments represented 23 percent, or 197 billion tenge (US$530 million). The city is demonstrating steady growth in all major indicators of socio-economic development.

Astana meat-processing plant design

The investment structure is changing. The share of budget investments decreased from 42 to 24 percent compared to 2016, while the share of investments for the specified period decreased two-fold from 23 to 12 percent compared to last year. This reduces the burden on the city budget.

“We have set an ambitious task to improve the investment climate. Last year, we developed a regional investment strategy, which became part of the Astana Development Programme. It focused on improving the business climate, organising work with investors and marketing,” said Head of the Investments and Development of Entrepreneurship Division of the city akimat (administration) Alisher Abdykadyrov.

Foreign investments show steady growth, with their share increasing from 15 to 23 percent compared to last year. Small businesses received 70 percent of the total investment, creating an economic structure in the city that leans on small and medium businesses. The number of foreign companies has grown almost three times in the last five years.

“We help investors at every stage, starting from obtaining an investor visa to the conclusion and signing of a contract. Our help includes support for investors in public services, consultation on the possibilities of locating the proposed investment project and the use of state investment support tools. Astana Invest cooperates with government agencies, development institutions and other investment institutions on support of investment projects and is also looking for partners for the joint implementation of investment projects,” said Deputy Chair of Astana Invest Muhamed Kabuldinov.

The company provides information support, accompanies projects and monitors investment activities. The investinastana.kz website includes all necessary information for investors and describes the city’s investment climate.

“We have more than 190 projects worth about 2.9 trillion tenge (US$7 billion). They include 44 projects with foreign participation and transnational companies from China, Japan, the UAE, Turkey and European countries,” said head of Astana Invest Investor’s Support Department Aidan Ramazan.

The list of major investors over the past year includes the French multinational company Alstom, which invested 330 million tenge (US$887,188) in a locomotive manufacturing and maintenance plant, creating 10 jobs. Kazakhstan Gharysh Sapary and Airbus Defence and Space launched a 72.6 billion tenge (US$195 million) project resulting in 80 new jobs.

The incentives provision for investment projects has continued. Eleven projects were launched in 2018 this year, including those with the participation of foreign companies. The 95 billion tenge (US$255 million) investment will create 800 jobs.

Construction of the Abu Dhabi Plaza multifunctional complex and a light rail system are underway.

“We provide full support for six potential investors in signing investment contracts with a total investment of more than $200 million and creating 1,500 jobs. We also concluded the first investment contract for a state in-kind grant to construct the high-tech meat-processing complex in Astana. It will strengthen the ‘food belt’ of Astana, increase the production and processing of meat products in the region and expand the export potential of the livestock industry. The production capacity will be 24,000 tonnes of meat products per year,” Ramazan noted.

School building design

Plans for 2019 include inaugurating 10 projects with foreign companies worth 50 billion tenge (US$134 million) and resulting in more than 500 jobs.

Public-private partnership (PPP) agreements were concluded relating to seven facilities in 2017 to improve administrative regulation, including an educational agreement with Poland’s Thermo Clima MK and two local companies to build six kindergartens, each accommodating 360 children. Private partners will invest about three billion tenge (US$8 million).

A private partner also invested more than eight billion tenge (US$21 million) in the Sergek video surveillance system. Approximately 13,000 cameras were installed, including 6,000 on roads, 4,000 in crowded places and 3,000 at entertainment and business centres. Traffic police officers were also provided with tablet devices and mobile thermal printers.

Nearly 20 PPP projects are under consideration.

“All these measures allow Astana to improve and strengthen its position in the Eurasian macro-region as the most attractive location for investors,” added Ramazan.