Japanese companies may manage Kazakhstan’s special industrial zones, Nazarbayev says

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ASTANA (TCA) — During his official visit to Japan, Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev invited Japanese companies to work in Kazakhstan’s special industrial zones, the presidential press service reported.

“We are prepared to give Japanese companies a platform for the purposes of projects in special and industrial zones. In addition, we are ready to place these areas under management of the Japanese companies,” Nazarbayev said at a meeting with business people of Japan in Tokyo on November 8.

Nazarbayev said that the two countries cooperate in a wide range of areas, including the oil and gas industry, metallurgy, finance, mining industry, and there are more than 50 Japanese companies working in Kazakhstan.

“At the same time, the potential of our relationship has not been fully realized. Therefore, the current meeting is intended to enhance trade and economic cooperation,” Nazarbayev said.

The President emphasized that Kazakhstan is taking systematic measures to improve the business environment and attracting investment, and it takes the 35th place according to the World Bank’s “Ease of Doing Business” rating.

Nazarbayev said that Kazakhstan’s state program of industrial-innovative development is being implemented to help the country get away from the raw material orientation. The program’s priority sectors are oil refining, oil-gas, agricultural chemistry, ferrous and non-ferrous metallurgy, food processing, automotive industry and electrical engineering. Investors in priority sectors are exempt from the corporate income tax and land tax for 10 years and from the property tax for 8 years.

He also noted that during the years of Kazakhstan’s independence, the total investments from Japan have amounted to about $10 billion.

“We have a liberal tax regime and the tax administration is quite simple, only 13 taxes. Consistency of regulations in respect of tax rates and employment sector is guaranteed. In 2015 we expanded the list of visa-free regime for citizens of 35 countries, and next year there will be 56 countries. Investors from Japan can freely enter Kazakhstan,” the President said.

Sergey Kwan

TCA