KAZAKHSTAN CREATES FAVOURABLE INVESTMENT CLIMATE
Almaty, June 4: Cosponsored by Kazakhstan’s Foreign Investors Council and the International Herald Tribune the 4th Kazakhstan Investment Summit, which took place on June 3-4 in Almaty, provided an excellent opportunity for top policy makers and global business leaders to take stock of the status and prospects of Kazakhstan’s economy. The almost universal verdict: the country weathered the economic crisis well and, despite challenges, is again becoming a very attractive magnet for international investment.
Opening the forum with a welcome address, Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev emphasized the special status of the event, where key members of the Kazakh Government as well as business and political leaders from the region, Asia, Europe and America exchange views on business and financial policies.
The Investment Summit was aimed at providing business leaders and investors from around the world with an up-to-date outlook on investment prospects and risks in Kazakhstan while the Kazakh side was mainly interested in discussing the way of getting the foreign investors involved in the implementation of industrial projects. During the summit the issue of creating legal framework for determining the competitiveness and long-term economic growth was touched upon as well.
Welcoming the summit participants, President Nazarbayev reminded that this forum was being held in anticipation of the 23rd plenary meeting of the Foreign Investors Council of Kazakhstan, and has already established itself as an important platform for exchange of information and strengthening contacts between Kazakh and international business community.
The President discussed the diversification of the Kazakh economy through the implementation of the State Program of Accelerated Industrial and Innovative Development ( PAIID).
He recalled that the government has developed the nation’s “Map of Industrialisation”, which includes more than 100 projects of national and regional significance amounting to more than US$ 45 billion.
To implement a new programme, Kazakhstan has identified 12 priority sectors of the economy for attracting investments, including metallurgy, oil refining and chemical industry, agriculture, engineering, construction industry, transport and telecommunications infrastructure, and a few others.
Nazarbayev said an important condition for success in implementing the industrial programme is to create a favourable climate for direct investments in Kazakhstan, particularly in non-extractive sectors of the economy.
“We urge foreign investors to expand their presence in our country by participating in the projects developed under the industrialisation programme. In this case, we will encourage those that apart from investing in constructing new facilities bring new technologies to our economy, train Kazakh specialists for new and innovative career”.
Kazakhstan attaches great importance to inviting foreign investments and remains one of the most attractive markets globally. During the last ten years Kazakhstan has ranked among the countries attracting the most investment per capita globally.
Since independence, Kazakhstan attracted US$ 108 billion in foreign direct investment. This is 80% of all foreign investments to the Central Asian region. Moreover, Kazakhstan was the first among the CIS countries receive international investment grade rating. Besides, the World Bank has included Kazakhstan in the 20 countries most attractive to foreign investors.
“Today, about 20,000 enterprises involving foreign capital operate in Kazakhstan, including more than 7,000 businesses in non-primary sector. Their prosperous activities are an indicator of the long-term, sustainable and stable development of Kazakhstan,” N.Nazarbayev stated.
The main criterion for evaluating the state’s prospects for investors is stability. This is readily available in Kazakhstan. Another important indicator is economic potential. In this context, the Central Asian nation has also done its best as the state has successfully overcome the effects of the global recession and ensured the growth of all major macroeconomic indicators. In Q1 2010, the Kazakhstan's GDP grew 7.2%.