A bustling hub of business, Astana, Kazakhstan witnessed a flux of high-profile dignitaries and companies during the 6th Kazakhstan Global Investment Roundtable recently. The highlight was Kazakh Prime Minister Alikhan Smailov’s stirring keynote speech, beckoning foreign investments from ASEAN to bolster Kazakhstan’s journey towards becoming a prominent investment hub in Central Asia.
Kazakhstan’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Roman Vassilenko, emphasized the potential for symbiotic economic growth between the Southeast Asian region and Kazakhstan during the conference. In light of Prime Minister Alikhan Smailov’s recent economic forging visits to Thailand and Vietnam, he highlighted the need for stronger business investments from ASEAN countries.
Noting an upswing in the volume of Kazakh tourists visiting Thailand, Vassilenko welcomed Thais to savor the charms of Kazakhstan. He viewed these positive people-to-people relations as stepping stones to prospective economic progression.
Kazakhstan is motivated to amp up foreign investments to drive growth, said Vassilenko. The strategy involves enhancing public infrastructure, especially logistics, to create seamlessness for investors and connect better with regions like Europe, the US, and the Middle East.
The 6th Kazakhstan Global Investment Roundtable attracted an impressive array of 500 local and international attendees and industry stalwarts. The spotlight was on sustainable regional growth investment across key verticals such as transport, logistics, agriculture, and innovative technologies.
With his comprehensive speech, Prime Minister Smailov bolstered investor confidence and reassured the government’s commitment to ease business operations.
“Our goal is to inflow $150 billion in foreign investment by 2029, and we’re determined to spare no effort to reach that milestone,” he revealed. A testimony to the country’s economic prowess was the 4.9% GDP spike over the last ten months, with capital investment surging 12.6%
Adding to the glory is the fact that Kazakhstan garners 70% of the foreign investment pooled in Central Asia. The country’s total FDI spiked by 18% last year, reaching $28 billion in the first half alone.
The Kazakh government is also dedicated to streamlining trade and investment by abolishing redundant regulations, with about 9,000 more scheduled to be revoked by the year-end. Smailov’s government is fostering a business-friendly environment with exclusive tax proposals for investors, including a novel tax code to nurture manufacturing industries and support SMEs. Investors can enjoy an initial tax-free leverage for the first three years.
Prime Minister Smailov unveiled an innovative tariff-for-investment exchange programme designed to lure investments in intricate oil and gas projects. “We’ve clinched investment promotion and mutual protection agreements with 53 nations. Over 20 commercial contracts, amounting to over $1.6 billion, would be signed at this roundtable,” Smailov elaborated.
Kit Matthew Simmons, a board member of Astana Motors in Kazakhstan lauded the Kazakh government’s endeavours to set a conducive environment for foreign business partners. According to Simmons, such initiatives, paired with investment in infrastructure and transboundary development, are crucial for businesses to thrive.
Kazakhstan’s massive agricultural land span, accounting for 80% of total land and rich natural resources, including rare earth metals, present compelling reasons for foreign investors to consider Kazakhstan as a promising investment hub.