Kazakhstan’s Diplomacy in 2023: Year of High-Profile Visits, Economic Success, and Soaring Foreign Investments 

ASTANA – Kazakh Foreign Ministry’s Spokesperson Aibek Smadiyarov wrapped up the results of the ministry’s work in 2023 at a Dec. 25 press briefing, the ministry’s press service reported. 

Photo credit: MFA.

According to Smadiyarov, in the passing year, the country witnessed an array of high-profile international events, state visits, and a surge in foreign investments, solidifying Kazakhstan’s position on the global stage.

Diplomatic highlights

Throughout 2023, Kazakhstan has been a focal point for international diplomacy, hosting 32 heads of state and government, 24 foreign ministers, and leaders of prominent international organizations. Notable visits included dignitaries from Great Britain, Hungary, Italy, the Kyrgyz Republic, Luxembourg, Macedonia, South Korea,  Switzerland,  Tajikistan, Türkiye, Turkmenistan, the United States (US) and Uzbekistan.  

Deputy Prime Minister – Minister of Foreign Affairs Murat Nurtleu visited 23 countries, fostering diplomatic relations and strengthening ties. In the last year, 34 international agreements were signed, comprising 12 interstate, 15 intergovernmental, and 7 interdepartmental documents. 

“Our nation consistently enhances its foreign policy endeavors by adapting to the evolving international landscape, addressing emerging challenges and threats, and staying attuned to current realities in foreign affairs,” said Smadiyarov. 

Economic diplomacy and foreign investments

Kazakhstan’s economic agenda saw significant progress, particularly in attracting foreign investments. During the state visit to China, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev oversaw the signing of 30 documents worth $16.54 billion, with an additional $21 billion earmarked for 52 ongoing joint projects. 

In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), President Tokayev secured ten investment agreements worth $4.7 billion.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs contributed to economic diplomacy, playing a pivotal role in promoting domestic products, fostering business contacts, and attracting foreign investments.

FDI inflow and investment landscape

The first half of 2023 saw a remarkable $13.3 billion influx of foreign direct investment (FDI) into Kazakhstan. The Netherlands, the US, Switzerland, Russia, China, South Korea, Belgium, France, UAE, and Luxembourg emerged as the top contributors.

The mining sector attracted the largest share of FDI by industry ($5.6 billion), followed by manufacturing ($2.9 billion), wholesale and retail trade ($2.5 billion), financial and insurance activities ($488.2 million), transport and warehousing ($577.8 million), construction ($189.8 million), professional and technical activities ($159.6 million), and real estate operations ($234.3 million).

The net inflow of FDI at the end of the first half of 2023 reached $4.1 billion, indicating an impressive 86.6% increase compared to the same period in 2022. 

Investment facilitation and achievements

Kazakhstan’s three-tier system for attracting investments yielded results, with over 3,000 meetings held by embassies abroad, facilitating over 1,400 visits to Kazakhstan. 

As of Dec. 14, 2023, 67 investment contracts were concluded worth 696 billion tenge ($1.5 billion), with over 450 applications for investment preferences considered.

The Kazakhstan Global Investment Roundtable 2023 on Nov. 17 brought together over 1,000 delegates, leading international companies, domestic businesses, investors, and experts. The event resulted in the signing of 28 documents worth nearly $1.8 billion.

The collaboration between Kazakh Invest national company and foreign partners resulted in 23 major annual investment events, solidifying Kazakhstan’s position as an attractive destination for global investments.

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