Kazakhstan interested in attracting at least $150 bln of foreign investment by 2029 – Alikhan Smailov at KGIR-2023

Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Alikhan Smailov took part in the VI Kazakhstan Global Investment Roundtable (KGIR), which annually brings together heads of major industrial enterprises, representatives of the financial sector, politicians and experts from around the world. 

Over the past years, KGIR has established itself as an effective dialog platform for strengthening cooperation between Kazakhstan and the international investment community. 

This year’s agenda includes such topics as the use of innovative technologies, food security, development of transportation and logistics potential, expansion of export opportunities, etc. 

This year’s event was attended by representatives of Great Britain, Vietnam, Germany, Canada, Qatar, China, UAE, Saudi Arabia, USA, Turkey, Qatar, France, Czech Republic and a number of other countries. 

As Prime Minister noted in his speech, Kazakhstan accounts for 70% of foreign investment in Central Asia. 

“Last year, the total volume of foreign direct investment increased by 18% to $28 billion. For 6 months of this year the national economy attracted about $14 billion more. The stability of the sovereign credit rating of the Republic is confirmed by international agencies Fitch, S&P and Moody’s,” Alikhan Smailov said. 

He reminded that in his recent Address to the people of Kazakhstan, the Head of State Kassym-Jomart Tokayev announced the need to transition to a new economic model. In particular, the Government was set a large-scale task to increase the volume of the economy by 2029 to $450 billion, that is, 2 times.

“Attracting investment is a key factor of growth. Within the framework of the National Investment Policy, taking into account ESG standards, Kazakhstan is interested in attracting at least $150 billion of foreign investment by 2029. For this purpose we continue to create favorable conditions for investors, including improving investment support tools,” Prime Minister noted. 

Thus, a new regulatory policy in the sphere of entrepreneurial activity is being introduced in the republic, providing for the abolition of unnecessary requirements for business. Thanks to the automation of risk management systems from January 1, inspections will be assigned without human factor. The new Tax Code provides special measures for the development of the manufacturing sector. 

At the same time, a new comprehensive program to support small and medium-sized enterprises is being developed. In order to develop domestic industry, it is planned to increase the share of off-take contracts in procurement to 10%. In order to modernize engineering and communal systems, a program “Tariff in exchange for investment” is being implemented, under which it is planned to attract about 3 trillion tenge of investment in the next 6 years.

“To provide projects with quality infrastructure, a corresponding National Plan until 2029 is being developed. In order to attract investment in complex oil and gas projects, a financial incentive mechanism under the Improved Model Contract has been introduced since this year. For investment projects in priority sectors worth over $50 million, there is an opportunity to conclude an Investment Agreement guaranteeing the stability of Kazakhstani legislation for 25 years. To date, 6 such agreements have been signed for $1.5 billion,” Alikhan Smailov said. 

At the same time, Kazakhstan has introduced the Agreement on Investment Obligations, which guarantees the stability of tax legislation for 10 years when investing more than $500 million. 

“In order to effectively monitor and control the implementation of investment projects, a nationwide pool has been formed. It includes about 1000 projects worth more than $69 billion,” Prime Minister emphasized.

He also added that for the development of clusters of deep processing, aimed at export and import substitution, more than 20 major projects are being implemented. In parallel with this, a National Digital Investment Platform is being created, which will ensure the integration of all government agencies into a single online system of attraction, implementation and monitoring of investment projects.

Alikhan Smailov reminded that today citizens of 83 countries have the right to visa-free entry to Kazakhstan, and residents of 109 countries can issue electronic visas. In addition, special investor visas are provided. The country also has the Astana International Financial Center, which is a unique business platform providing unprecedented services for business in the region. 

“All these steps are aimed at unlocking the investment potential of the republic and achieving real results. Kazakhstan will make every effort to further improve the investment climate in line with global standards. We will also regularly introduce additional support measures. I take this opportunity to invite you to actively invest in the economy of Kazakhstan,” the Prime Minister concluded.

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