Kazakhstan is a country for your business, PM says to investors

ASTANA (TCA) — On July 3, Kazakhstan’s Prime Minister Bakytzhan Sagintayev took part in the second international investment forum Kazakhstan Global Investment Roundtable, where he addressed the participants of the panel session “Kazakhstan: Towards New Challenges”, the official website of the Prime Minister of Kazakhstan reported.

In his speech, Sagintayev emphasized that improvement of the investment climate, open dialogue with investors and advancement of the infrastructure to attract investments is a strategic priority for the Government of Kazakhstan, and one of the most important conditions for the success of the modernization taking place in the country.

The Prime Minister said that the gross inflow of foreign direct investment in Kazakhstan for 2017 amounted to 20.8 billion USD, and a quarter of that money went to the manufacturing industry.

In total, about 50% of all foreign investments were directed into non-commodity sectors.

Sagintayev said that positive dynamics is maintained this year, too. In just 5 months of 2018, agreements were reached to implement 69 new projects with major investors, including 10 transnational corporations (TNCs) from China, Turkey, the United States, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, the EU and other countries.

The Kazakh-Chinese Industrial and Investment Cooperation Program is successfully implemented, which includes 51 projects to the tune of 27.7 billion USD.

Combined, in 2018 54 projects will be completed for a total of 3.9 billion USD. A total of 63 projects worth 6.8 billion USD will also be launched, Sagintayev said.

The Prime Minister emphasized that new tax and customs regimes corresponding to the best international standards are in force in Kazakhstan, the tax burden has been optimized, and tax preferences have been developed within the Tax Code.

The new Code on Subsoil and Subsoil Use, based on the principle of “first-come-first-served”, has begun to work, Sagintayev said.

From July 1, 2018, subsoil use rights are granted in a simplified manner according to the Australian method. Time for consideration of project documents and administrative barriers have been reduced. An international system for calculating reserves is introduced and free access to geological information is ensured. The terms for granting subsoil use rights for solid minerals have been reduced from 18 months to 10 days, the Prime Minister said.

“We are confident that the improvement of the investment legislation will help investors to rediscover the economy of Kazakhstan. The Government proposes to invest in industries with great operational potential. And this is where we are ready for the full-scale use of the PPP mechanism, especially for capital-intensive projects,” Sagintayev said.

He said that by creating a modern favorable regulatory framework for investors, the Government is working to gradually reduce the state’s share in the economy. In 2018-2020, privatization of the 9 largest assets of Kazakhstan’s Sovereign Wealth Fund Samruk-Kazyna, including oil and gas, mining companies, a railway operator, an air carrier, etc. is planned.

“All the necessary decisions have been taken [by the Kazakh Government], now it’s up to investors,” Sagintayev concluded.

Sergey Kwan

TCA

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.
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Kwan studied at the Bishkek Polytechnic Institute from 1990-1994, before completing his training in print journalism in Denmark.

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