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Kazakhstan is leading in attracting foreign direct investment in Central Asia

Since 2005, almost USD300 million of foreign direct investment (FDI) has been attracted to the economy of Kazakhstan. Last year, the gross inflow of foreign direct investment in Kazakhstan grew by 15.8% to USD24 billion. That was announced by the Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan Zhenis Kassymbek at the Capital Markets Forum “Financing Economy through Capital Market Tools”, which takes place within the framework of Astana Finance Days on the basis of the Astana International Financial Center.

At the same time, he noted that approximately 75% of the total FDI inflow to Central Asia since 2005 fell to Kazakhstan.

“Today, Kazakhstan is the absolute leader in these indicators in the region. It should be noted that the policy to improve the investment climate allowed us to increase the competitiveness of our country at the international level as well as to attract new finances to industrial projects, which will be the economic zone around the “New Silk Road”, said Zhenis Kassymbek.

As part of the “New Silk Road”, Kazakhstan jointly with Chinese companies, is implementing 55 industrial projects worth almost USD28 billion. It is not only transport and infrastructure, but also processing industry, chemistry, metallurgy, food industry, agriculture. This cooperation is already bearing fruit.

“Over 4 years, 12 projects out of 55 have already been implemented. This year, another 5 will be commissioned. Among them: the production of special types of cement for the oil and gas industry, the processing of agricultural products, and a Glass Factory,” said Zhenis Kassymbek.

At the same time, it is necessary to perform more actions ensuring further development. For example, one of the pressing issues for the region, according to the Deputy Prime Minister, is the issue of diversification of currency risks.

The head of the AIFC, Kairat Kelimbetov, also hopes for effective cooperation with China, as its economy is rightfully considered the second in the world. The main emphasis so far made on the development of logistics.

“Its development will allow us to diversify the economy, to find new ways of export, to enter new stages of industrialization,” he explained.

The next stage is the development of digital and financial infrastructure. As the speaker noted, there are plans to restart the capital market in Kazakhstan.

“We have created a new trading platform, Astana International Exchange, which, during the year, managed to create a well-regulated environment that is understandable for international investors as well as to develop an ecosystem of brokers, to implement the best trading and settlement technologies, and to conduct the first placing securities. In the course of time, a developed capital market will help to become another anchor point for the growth of the country's economy,” said Kairat Kelimbetov.

In addition, one of the most promising tools for the development of the economy of Kazakhstan, according to the Manager of the AIFC, can be the Silk Road Fund, which is designed to invest in breakthrough projects. This joint fund of China and Kazakhstan accumulated about USD2 billion.