“We Are Committed to Fostering Investor-Friendly Environment,” Says Kazakh Deputy FM 

ASTANA – Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Nazira Nurbayeva shared insights on Kazakhstan’s initiatives to attract investments and outcomes of recent diplomatic visits to Asian countries in an interview with The Astana Times. 

What key sectors in Kazakhstan attract significant investments and what factors influence these trends? How do you assess the impact of the current geopolitical situation in the region on the country’s investment landscape?

Nazira Nurbayeva.

Kazakhstan is making significant progress as a country in all economic sectors and industries. We are seeing a lot of investment across various sectors, particularly in energy, manufacturing, agriculture, mining, and new technologies like green energy and digital innovations. 

The energy sector is still a major draw because of our vast reserves of hydrocarbons. However, there is a growing interest in renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar power, as we follow global sustainability trends. By 2030 we plan to increase the share of alternative and renewable energy from the current 6% to 15%, and reach carbon neutrality by 2060. 

Agro-processing is another big area for investment. With our extensive arable land – almost 30 million hectares – and ideal conditions for grain and livestock production, it’s no surprise that this sector attracts a lot of attention. Kazakhstan is one of the largest grain exporters in the world, while many see good investment opportunities in processing grain locally to produce high-value finished goods such as food, livestock feed, bio-fuels, bio-plastic and many other products.

Mining remains crucial as well, with Kazakhstan being one of the global top producers of uranium, copper, titanium and other important minerals. With the pivotal role of critical raw materials in driving the green transition, we see a surge of investor interest in this sector. Embracing this trend, we particularly focus on projects allowing us to integrate into the global critical raw materials value chain.
Several factors drive these investment trends. Our rich natural resources and strategic geographic location are key, but so are the economic reforms we’ve been implementing to create a more business-friendly environment. The government is really focused on diversifying the economy and reducing our reliance on fossil fuels.
Geopolitically, Kazakhstan consistently advocates for free trade and investment cooperation because we believe that economic linkages and interdependence is the bedrock of a more peaceful and prosperous world. Our commitment to this principle has helped us maintain a stable and attractive investment landscape despite regional tensions. 

It was announced that the country will launch its National digital investment platform in January. What measures were taken to develop this initiative?

Clearing away obstacles to investments and streamlining the bureaucracy for potential investors, while at the same time ensuring a level playing field and transparency have been among the top priorities of our new economic policy aimed at establishing a diversified, dynamic and innovative economic environment where companies and individuals can prosper. Launch of the National digital investment platform is a major step towards this goal. 

The platform allows investors to register projects, track their progress online, and resolve any issues in one centralized hub. The user feedback we’ve received so far has been overwhelmingly positive and encouraging. I would like to therefore credit the teams at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Digital Development, Innovation and Aerospace Industry for turning the vision of our government into a reality. 

Over the last year there have been too many milestones in this project to name them all, however I can say with confidence that conceptualizing the Platform, integrating the information systems, and extensive testing with various stakeholders, including government bodies and private investors, have been no mean feat.

Successful launch of this project is a testament to Kazakhstan’s world-class competence in developing digital public infrastructure. And while we continue to enhance various functionalities of the Platform to improve user experience, we expect it to further position Kazakhstan as one of the top destinations for foreign investment.

Could you please provide an overview of the key outcomes from the official visit of the Kazakh delegation to Singapore in May? What main accomplishments, agreements, or significant developments were achieved as part of the visit?

I could not describe it better than President Tokayev, who said the visit was “a start of an exciting journey” for Kazakhstan and Singapore. Agreements made during the visit laid a strong foundation to build upon for years to come.

We have agreed to cooperate in six key areas: economic integration, security, enterprise standards, intellectual property rights protection, higher education and legal dispute resolution. 

More specifically, the visit concluded with the signing of several important documents, which are set to enhance trade, investment, and technological exchange between the two countries, including a cooperation agreement between KazPost and SingPost, a declaration to launch a digital corridor between KTZ Express and Global DTC, a memorandum to foster cooperation among Kazakhstan Temir Zholy, PSA KZ Pte, KPMC, and G-trans Service, to name a few. 

A solid foundation for future collaboration and economic growth between Kazakhstan and Singapore has been established, but the work obviously does not end here. Now we will focus our efforts on building upon these agreements to ensure they turn into mutually beneficial and tangible projects and foster further investments between Kazakhstan and Singapore. 

Could you elaborate what promising areas of cooperation and investment projects were discussed during your recent visits to Korea and Japan? What industries or sectors were highlighted, and were there any specific initiatives or agreements proposed or explored during these discussions?

Our visits to Korea and Japan were very promising, with discussions focusing on several key sectors like renewable energy, green transformation, healthcare, and advanced manufacturing.
In Japan, companies like Marubeni Corporation and Itochu Corporation showed strong interest in renewable energy projects, including solar, wind, and waste processing initiatives. Sumitomo Corporation is looking to expand its logistics operations for agricultural chemicals and deepen collaboration in the mining sector. Inpex Corporation is looking into opportunities in decarbonization projects, including carbon capture and storage.  

In Korea, we had fruitful meetings with Samsung Medison and Doosan Enerbility. Samsung Medison is considering expanding medical equipment production in Almaty, which could create jobs and enhance technological advancement. Doosan Enerbility is interested in producing steam turbines and exploring various sustainable energy solutions. KIGAM and SK Ecoplant are looking at establishing a full production chain from raw materials to finished products, which highlights the comprehensive nature of these potential investments.
These discussions highlight our shared commitment to sustainability, technological advancement, and economic diversification. By building these partnerships, we hope to leverage the expertise of Japanese and Korean companies to drive growth and innovation in key sectors of our economy.
What are expectations for the investment climate in Kazakhstan and what factors are important to attract for an investment in the long term? 

Kazakhstan is set on an ambitious path to develop a new economic policy, which will ensure the country’s attractiveness for investors and contribute to the inclusive growth of our citizens’ wellbeing through macroeconomic stability, economic diversification, digitalization, and the rule of law. 

Our goal is to create a more transparent, predictable, and investor-friendly environment for Kazakh and foreign companies. 

To attract long-term investments, it’s crucial to keep improving the business climate, reduce bureaucratic hurdles, and enhance transparency. Our new initiatives like the “green corridor” for large investors, the national digital investment platform, and reform of the special economic zones and private-public partnership framework address these key areas. These reforms directly correspond to the needs of investors, as affirmed during our recent visits to Singapore, Japan, Korea and during frank conversations with many other partners and investors.

The new path will enable us to shift reliance away from the traditional upstream energy sector, while exploring how we can seize the opportunities of the energy transition, especially through investments in renewables. In this regard, we expect Kazakhstan to play a fundamental role in the global economy as a supplier of critical raw materials, which are key to the production of the items needed in both the green and digital transition – for the economy of the future.

Investment opportunities in Kazakhstan are growing, and we are committed to fostering an investor-friendly environment. This is why we are very optimistic about the economic and investment outlook for Kazakhstan in the medium-to-long term.

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