NUR-SULTAN – The Almaty Region, one of the largest in the country, is developing dynamically. The region plans to attract 811 billion tenge (US$1.8 billion) in investments in 2021, said Almaty Region Deputy Akim (Governor) Zhenis Tuyakov in an interview with The Astana Times.
“The amount of attracted investments increases annually. Over the past five years, 2.9 trillion tenge (US$6.7 billion) of investments have been attracted to the country. In 2020, investments amounted to 680.7 billion tenge (US$188.1 million), which is 151.8 billion tenge (US$353.9 million) or 1.3 times more than in 2016. The projected volume of investments for 2021 is 811 billion tenge (US$1.8 billion),” said Tuyakov.
From January to May 2021, the region attracted 181.2 billion tenge (US$422.5 million) of investments.
To achieve its investment targets and increase the volume of investment to gross domestic product (GDP) up to 30 percent by 2025, the region’s investment portfolio now includes 585 projects worth 5.5 trillion tenge (US$12.8 billion) creating 45,000 jobs.
Of them, 350 projects amounting to two trillion tenge (US$4.6 billion) and creating 17,000 jobs are at different stages of implementation and provide a steady flow of investments to the region.
This year’s plan is to implement 65 investment projects totaling 110.8 billion tenge (US$258.3 million) creating more than 3,500 jobs.
“We help business people in every possible way if they are socially responsible to implement projects that are important for the country’s economy. As part of the Business Roadmap program, we bring engineering networks to the facility, help with infrastructure, and make the most of government programs to support business,” said Tuyakov. “In general, we have built a comprehensive system in our region to attract and support investors. As a result, nine out of 16 transnational corporations operating in Kazakhstan are implementing their projects in the Almaty Region.”
In 2018, two projects were launched with the participation of transnational corporations – the production of pumping equipment for central heating by Germany’s Wilo Central Asia company and a pasta production plant by partners from Cyprus – Mareven Food Tian -Shan.
2019 saw Russian LUKOIL company launching a plant to produce lubricating oils. The project created 200 new jobs.
Russia’s TechnoNICOL corporation plans to build a polymer insulation and stone wool production plant.
“We signed the memorandum of cooperation. Land plot was allocated, and the volume of investments is around 29 billion tenge (US$67.6 million). 240 jobs will be created. More than 20 percent of products will be exported to Central Asia, China, and Iran,” said Tuyakov.
Among other major planned projects are a meat processing complex with a capacity of 500,000 heads and an investment volume of 126 billion tenge (US$293.8 million) with the American company Tyson Foods, a complex for extensive processing of small ruminants by German company Baumann Gmbh & Co.KG and the storage and processing facilities for fruits by partners from the United Arab Emirates and the Netherlands.
“The geographical location in a favorable nature and climatic zone, fertile lands and water resources, the transport corridors passing through the territory, as well as the proximity to other countries, determine the current specialization of the region,” said Tuyakov.
He described the region as a “food belt of the country’s large metropolis” noting the agrarian-industrial focus of the economy. The region’s agricultural sector produces around 17 percent of the country’s gross agricultural output.
“We occupy a leading position in the production of soybeans, sugar beets, corn, fruits and berries, vegetables, meat, milk, wool, and eggs,” said Tuyakov, also emphasizing the region’s leading position in the production of tobacco products, cheese, and grape wine.
The Almaty Region is the country’s only producer of malt, electric batteries, plasterboard products, reinforced concrete, and metal support brackets for high-voltage power lines and fire hydrants.
To facilitate business activity in the region, there are six industrial zones – Taldykorgan, Arna in Kapshagai, Boraldai and Berek in the Ili district, Kazbek Bek in the Zhambyl district, Kairat in the Talgar district, with plans to locate enterprises producing high-tech, innovative and environmentally friendly products.
Much of the effort has also centered on the Khorgos economic zone.
“The Khorgos-East Gate special economic zone is a regional transport and logistics hub at the crossroads of trade flows between China, the Eurasian Union countries, Central Asia and the South Caucasus. The key element of Khorgos is the dry port developed in June 2015 and which is successfully operating today,” said Tuyakov.
Promotion of exports
The region’s main export destinations are Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Mongolia, Turkmenistan, and China.
Within four months of 2021, the foreign trade turnover amounted to $906.1 million, including $71.4 million in exports and $834.7 million in imports.
“Compared to the same period in 2020, foreign trade turnover increased by $412.1 million or 183.4 percent, exports from the region decreased by $2.2 million, imports increased by $414.2 million or 198.5 percent,” said the deputy governor.
Development of tourism infrastructure
The Almaty Region offers a variety of tourist destinations for every taste and budget. Developing this potential has also been a priority for the region and improving tourist infrastructure is part of this effort.
Projects were implemented to develop the coast of Lake Alakol, develop tourist infrastructure in the national parks of Ile-Alatau, Charyn, Altyn Emel and Kolsai Lake, including the construction of visitor centers, hiking trails, glamping sites and viewing platforms.
“At the same time, a marketing strategy for the main tourist destinations of the Almaty Region has been developed. The tourist portal is functioning, guidebooks and maps have been prepared. More than 8,000 tourist locations have been uploaded to digital maps on Google and Yandex,” said Tuyakov.