Kazakhstan Global Investment Forum 2018 held in London

ASTANA (TCA) — Kazakhstan Global Investment Forum 2018 was held on October 2 in London (United Kingdom). Over 150 business representatives took part in the event. The Kazakh delegation was headed by the Deputy Prime Minister Askar Zhumagaliyev, the official website of the Prime Minister of Kazakhstan reported.

The forum was devoted to new opportunities in the field of business and investment, as well as the prospects of Kazakh-British projects in the fastest growing sectors of the economy of Kazakhstan. The main topics discussed included current innovations in improving the country’s investment climate and tax and customs incentives, the State Property Privatization Program, the favorable geographical position of Kazakhstan at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, its participation in the Chinese initiative One Belt, One Road, the Eurasian Economic Union, and the functioning of the Astana International Financial Center (AIFC) which applies the norms of English law on its territory.

Among participants were more than 150 senior executives from the manufacturing, agricultural, chemical, mining and financial sectors, as well as metallurgy, alternative energy, logistics and digital technologies, including representatives of such large international corporations as Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, JP Morgan Bank, Deutsche Bank, Morgan Stanley, Ernst & Young, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and the London Stock Exchange.

Deputy Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Askar Zhumagaliyev, AIFC Governor Kairat Kelimbetov, Vice Minister for Investments and Development Arystan Kabikenov and Chairman of the Board of Kazakh Invest Saparbek Tuyakbaev spoke at the opening of the forum.

“Kazakhstan is interested in attracting British investors who will bring with them finance, technology and best business practices necessary for successful diversification of our economy and its integration into the global system,” Zhumagaliyev said. The UK is one of the largest investors in the economy of Kazakhstan. It accounts for $13 billion out of the $300 billion raised over 27 years of independence.

The Governor of the Astana International Financial Center Kairat Kelimbetov devoted his presentation to opportunities opening up for investors, taking into account the work of the AIFC. Thus, the AIFC provides its members with a special tax regime up to 50 years, guarantees an independent system of dispute resolution based on English common law. The official presentation took place in July 2018.

“The launch of the Astana International Financial Centre this year is also transforming Astana into a regional financial centre that will promote your business further to the new horizons,” Kelimbetov said to the forum participants.

The Vice Minister for Investments and Development Arystan Kabikenov spoke about the country’s investment climate. In 2017, together with the World Bank, Kazakhstan developed and adopted the National Investment Strategy which identified top priority sectors for attracting investments. Mining and metallurgy are amongst the most important sectors of the economy, forming more than 21% of exports. Overall, Kazakhstan ranks the world’s 6th for natural resources, and 10th for total volume of minerals (excluding oil and gas). There is also a great potential in the fields of exploration and development of copper, gold, phosphates, and rare earth metals production, including lithium and vanadium. Investments into geological exploration and the development of new technologies for processing raw materials are of special interest, Kabikenov said.

“This year we have adopted a new subsoil use code based on the ‘first come, first served’ principle. It also facilitates free access to geological information and will shorten the time for granting subsoil use rights for solid minerals from 18 months to just 10 days,” Kabikenov said.

The Chairman of the Board of Kazakh Invest Saparbek Tuyakbaev informed the participants that the company identified and prepared 70 niche projects in priority sectors of the economy — agriculture, chemistry and petrochemistry, mining and metallurgy, mechanical engineering and metallurgical engineering, tourism, and energy.

“From establishing links with local companies to supporting project maintenance and coordination, we provide a wide range of services to facilitate investment, acting as a ‘one-stop shop’ for all investment queries and needs. Kazakh Invest serves as a single point of contact, representing the Government during discussions of proposals and conditions for investment projects in Kazakhstan,” Tuyakbaev said.

The company has a wide range of representatives throughout the world who in close cooperation with the Embassies ensure information and timely responses. This makes it easier for investors to learn potential for business growth and market expansion in the region.

“The interests of the UK are not limited to the mining industry of Kazakhstan, the privatization program and the development of Astana as a Eurasian financial hub. We also want to participate in the diversification of your economy,” the British Trade Envoy Baroness Emma Nicholson stressed speaking at the plenary session.

The outcome of the forum was the conclusion of a number of agreements with British companies in the fields of transport and logistics, metallurgy, energy, agriculture, engineering, and in the field of developing the healthcare system infrastructure.

The UK is among the top 10 trading partners in terms of turnover, as well as among the six largest investors in Kazakhstan, which accounts for almost 5% of the total volume of attracted foreign investment.

Trade between Kazakhstan and the United Kingdom in 2017 increased by 1.5% and amounted to $1.28 billion. More than 800 legal entities, branches and representative offices with British participation are registered in Kazakhstan.

Sergey Kwan


Sergey Kwan has worked for The Times of Central Asia as a journalist, translator and editor since its foundation in March 1999. Prior to this, from 1996-1997, he worked as a translator at The Kyrgyzstan Chronicle, and from 1997-1999, as a translator at The Central Asian Post.
Kwan studied at the Bishkek Polytechnic Institute from 1990-1994, before completing his training in print journalism in Denmark.

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