NUR-SULTAN – Kazakhstan will invest 1.284 trillion tenge (US$3.3 billion) until 2023 to boost development and upgrade infrastructure in the nation’s third largest city Shymkent.
The funds will be used to implement 89 initiatives, said Kazakh Minister of National Economy Ruslan Dalenov.
The initiatives are included in the comprehensive plan for the city development until 2023 adopted July 9 by the Kazakh government.
Of those, 836 billion tenge (US$2.18 billion) are private investments, 299 billion tenge (US$778.2 million) will come from the national budget and 68 billion tenge (US$176.9 million) are through public-private partnerships.
Located in southern Kazakhstan, Shymkent has grown significantly in the last decade with the population exceeding one million in 2018 following Almaty and capital Nur-Sultan.
Shymkent also received the city of national significance status in 2018, joining Almaty and Nur-Sultan.
With the measures in place, the officials expect annual volume of investment will reach 1 trillion tenge (US$2.6 billion).
In 2018, gross regional product reached two trillion tenge (US$5.2 billion) and the volume of investments reached 588 billion tenge (US$1.5 billion).
Dalenov said access to a central water supply will grow from 93 percent to 98 percent, natural gas supply will increase from 92 percent to 98 percent and the proportion of roads in satisfactory condition will grow to 59.4 percent.
“The economy will grow to 3.5 trillion tenge (US$9.1 billion). In real terms, this is 5.5 percent annual growth on average. Nearly 60,000 jobs will be created,” said Dalenov.
“Shymkent has a huge economic potential. Significant investments will be made in infrastructure development, energy, tourism and services sector. This will ensure the real economic growth of 5.5 percent annually, which is higher than nationwide,” he said.
Prime Minister Askar Mamin said Shymkent should become a regional hub and a magnet for investors.
Three new industrial zones will be built in Shymkent, adding to the Ontustik special economic zone that will also be expanded.
To improve transport infrastructure, a new passenger terminal at the city’s airport will be built and rail station will be reconstructed.
“We are implementing 11 projects (in transport infrastructure), including the reconstruction of a 31-kilometre A2 road, prolongation of Kunayev Avenue towards Tashkent extending by 31 kilometres. Also, the construction of four main crossroads [is envisaged]. Twenty-four kilometre South and South-East ring roads will be built,” said Shymkent Akim (Mayor) Gabidulla Abdrakhimov.
Mamin also instructed the completion of the construction of a gas distributing station and a 190 billion tenge (US$494.5 million) combined cycle plant with a 450 MW capacity.
“The plan will allow increasing the volume of housing construction from 500,000 square metres this year steadily up to 1 million square metres per year and bring the housing supply to 30 square metres per capita,” said Mamin.
Tourism development also promises big opportunities. Shymkent will be the cultural capital of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) in 2020.
“As a rule, the city chosen to be the cultural capital hosts many international events. I instruct the Shymkent Akim (Mayor) to prepare the plan of events with state bodies,” said Mamin.
Abdrakhimov said a Nepalese investor will build a Disneyland-like amusement park and aqua park in Shymkent.
“We will allocate 100 hectares of land for the construction. He is now making calculation with the specialists from Dubai who built Dubai aqua park. We expect the delegation July 13, where we will discuss the project in more detail,” said Abdrakhimov.
The officials expect the proximity to Turkestan and Tashkent will also attract tourists, facilitate the construction of tourism infrastructure and create new jobs.