Kazakhstan grants visa-free status for 12 more countries to attract investment, tourists, businesses

NUR-SULTAN – Kazakhstan has granted visa-free entrance to 12 additional countries – Bahrain, Colombia, Indonesia, Kuwait, Liechtenstein, Oman, the Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, the Vatican and Vietnam – for up to 30 days.

Photo credit: minskholidays.by.

“Based on the political, economic and investment feasibility, as well as other interests of Kazakhstan, the list of countries with visa-free entry to Kazakhstan has been expanded. An additional 12 countries are included in the list of 45 states,” said Ministry of Foreign Affairs Press Secretary Aibek Smadiyarov at the Sept. 30 briefing.

According to ministry data, Kazakhstan attracted $876.3 million of foreign direct investment (FDI) from the countries between 2005-2018. Eighty-five percent of the funds came from four nations – Oman ($253.2 million), Indonesia ($216.5 million), Liechtenstein ($170.0 million) and Saudi Arabia ($106.1 million).

In addition, Kazakhstan and these countries “effectively cooperate in multilateral and bilateral formats and closely coordinate their actions to resolve pressing international problems,” he noted.

“The abolition of visa formalities aims to increase the number of foreign investors, businesspeople and tourists. Simplification of the visa regime will contribute to the creation of a favourable investment climate in Kazakhstan,” he added.

According to Henley Passport Index (updated Oct. 1), Kazakhstan rose one position to 68th place in the fourth quarter of this year. The number of visa-free countries for a Kazakh passport remained at 75 during the last three months.

President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev earlier tasked the ministry to intensify work in expanding the list of countries Kazakh citizens can visit without obtaining visas.

The Henley Passport Index ranks all the world’s passports according to the number of destinations their holders can access without a prior visa. The ranking is calculated with exclusive data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which maintains the world’s largest and most accurate database of travel information, and enhanced by ongoing research by the Henley & Partners research department.

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