Behind every success there is always someone too keen and serious. Seriousness of the leadership here is reflected by personal supervision of the visionary Kazakh leader President Nursultan Nazarbayev. The speedy completion of projects is quite impressive here and has an unambiguous message to the international business community for Kazakhstan. This is particularly important because this thing alone can guarantee success to the partners whose stakes are here. The reigning slogan ‘first the economy and then the policy’ clearly reflects the vision and genuine intensions of the President of RK.
The most unusual and augmented experiment for the post-Soviet times was launched by Kazakhstan, when the ‘International Financial Center’ began to operate in the Republic of Kazakhstan. It was apparently the fruit of a utopian idea, which today appears as much more precise and clear framework, provoking the interest of neighbouring countries and particularly those of foreign investors.
In order to attract foreign investment and working with foreign investors in Kazakhstan, a national company Kazakh Invest was created, which helps businessmen who want to work in the country to choose the best niche. No bureaucratic delays and language barriers are being ensured. Almost all the paper procedures the company takes on and communicates with potential investors in their language – all consulting services, tax, customs procedures are translated into English.
In addition, there is an ‘Investor Service Center’ in Kazakhstan which works on the principle of ‘one window operation’. Anyone can come and immediately in one place get issued all the documents. Moreover, the rights of foreign entrepreneurs are protected by the investment ombudsman. Furthermore, for investors there are various preferences and tax incentives, for example, exemption from VAT when importing raw materials, and quotas for the importation and mobility of their own workforce.
You can count on the sustainability of the foreign investment system there. The investment policy of Kazakhstan was formed throughout the 26 years of independence by trial and error. Because it is already mature, carefully thought-out and as encompassing as possible.
It is necessary to note here that position in the international rating of Kazakhstan reflects the comfort of conditions for entrepreneurship the world over. Doing Business speaks for itself as this country enjoys 36th place among 190 states. The best indicators in the post-Soviet space, along with Russia. At the same time, on certain positions, Kazakhstan has overtaken not only the countries of the former USSR, but also many developed countries. For example, in terms of protection of minority investors, Kazakhstan is in the first place in the world and with reference to the execution of contracts – on the sixth position.
All terms and conditions created for investors have a real reflection in the figures of inflow of foreign capital. For example, only in the first quarter of 2017 investors invested in Kazakhstan by almost 19% more than a year earlier. As a result of January-March 2017, the total gross inflow of foreign direct investment amounted to 5.381 billion USD (data of the National Bank of Kazakhstan). This is almost 19% (or 857.2 million USD) more than the first quarter of 2016. The largest foreign investor is Holland, followed by the US, Switzerland, China and Russia.
There is every reason to believe that the project of the ‘International Financial Center’ launched by Kazakhstan is no longer a utopian idea. Astana has all chances to become the second Dubai or Singapore, only in Central Asia. To become a regional hub for attracting investments, using modern financial technologies and a special system of justice based on English law. In IFCA operates its own independent of the judicial system of Kazakhstan, an independent court. Foreign judges of international level work there. They have already sworn an oath to the President of Kazakhstan. All this guarantees complete impartiality of the process and the rule of law stands supreme.
After critically investigating the International Investment and Financial opportunities of Kazakhstan and the conditions created for them, it is not difficult to decide why this country is attracting foreign capital. With a minimum level of confidence in the financial sphere and market volatility, Kazakhstan remains a reliable ‘haven for investors’ with many areas that have not yet been mastered.
Despite the fact that RK has outranked arguments for assessing Kazakhstan with her competitors in the investment race, her targets are still far high. By the closing of 2017, Kazakhstan adopted a new tax code, as well as a code ‘On subsoil and subsoil use’, significantly expanding opportunities for investors. This year the government of Kazakhstan is preparing another package of legislative amendments to improve the business environment at the national and sub-national levels.
In addition to the traditional raw materials sector, in Kazakhstan, with its vast fertile areas, the agricultural sector looks promising and the Chinese investor is already actively coming to it and showing interest in the foreign business environment in the sphere of transport and logistics. Which makes Kazakhstan financially viable is convenient location of the country between Europe and Asia and the presence of virtually all the necessary infrastructure for transhipment of goods which play a very important role in every trade and industry.
Continuous growth in investment and favourable conditions prevalent here make Kazakhstan a very attractive location. The Kazakh government is making all efforts to realize her potentials to full extent.
Muhammad Wasim Chaudhry
A seasoned Pakistani writer and business analyst with keen observation on Kazakhstan.