Kazakh PM briefs Western diplomats, officials on new measures to attract foreign investment

NUR-SULTAN – Kazakhstan hopes recently launched measures by the government will increase foreign investment cooperation with countries and institutions, Kazakh Prime Minister Askar Mamin told an April 24 meeting with a group of Western diplomats and officials.

American Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Doris Bradbury, British Ambassador to Kazakhstan Michael Gifford, Canadian Ambassador to Kazakhstan Nicholas Brousseau, European Union Ambassador to Kazakhstan Sven-Olov Carlsson and U.S. Deputy Chief of Mission Theodore Lyng attended the meeting.

Mamin explained the reasons for the April 22 establishment of a new Coordinating Council on Investment Issues that is chaired by himself and includes the first deputy prime minister, deputy prime minister responsible for infrastructure development, heads of key ministries (Justice, Foreign Affairs, National Economy, Industry and Infrastructural Development, Energy, Agriculture as well as Internal Affairs), the National Bank, Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC), national holdings, national companies, Atameken National Chamber of Entrepreneurs, deputy chairman of the National Security Committee, chairman of the Supreme Court Specialised Judicial College and deputy attorney general.

“The fact that the Kazakh government pays special attention to creating the most favourable conditions for attracting investments and strengthening the protection of investors’ rights and that the Kazakh Prime Minister is directly involved is a very good signal to investors,” Bradbury said at the meeting, as reported by Primeminister.kz.

Kazakhstan’s foreign direct investment (FDI) increased 15.8 percent to $24 billion last year, and its foreign trade increased 20 percent year-on-year. Kazakh officials hope the government’s new measures will continue that growth trajectory. The European Union is the largest foregin investor and foreign trading partner for Kazakhstan. The United States is among the largest investors, while Canadian companies are working in the uranium industry, among others.

First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Alikhan Smailov and AIFC Governor Kairat Kelimbetov also informed the prime minister and heads of diplomatic missions on the AIFC’s FDI-friendly initiatives.

The AIFC operates within a special legal regime based on English common law principles, an independent court and an international arbitration centre and positions itself as a financial hub for countries in Central Asia, the Caucasus, the Eurasian Economic Union, Europe, the Middle East, Mongolia, as well as Western China.

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