Member Login


  • 11 Jul 2017 4:28 PM | Anonymous

    By Svitlana  Pyrkalo - July 10, 2017

    Bank will work towards stronger private sector, better regional connectivity, improved access to finance and green economy

    The EBRD Board of Directors has approved a new country strategy for Kazakhstan. The strategy outlines the Bank’s primary areas of investment and policy engagement in the country over the next four years. 

    The strategy builds on the Bank’s strong operational engagement in Kazakhstan, which has seen the country become one of the EBRD’s largest markets, with the total investment to date exceeding US$ 8 billion.  

    Under the new strategy, the Bank will focus on the following priorities:

    Balancing the roles of the public and private sectors. The Bank will continue to support the growth of private enterprises, which are still outweighed by the public sector. By investing in the private sector, including small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), in agribusiness and the non-extractive sectors, the EBRD hopes to improve the economy’s competitiveness. The Bank remains interested in the privatisation programme announced by the government. At the same time, the Bank will continue to support the reform of Kazakhstan’s public sector and the commercialisation of state-owned enterprises.

    Broadening access to finance, strengthening the banking sector and developing local capital markets.Many firms continue to suffer from insufficient access to finance. The EBRD will work on improving the resilience of Kazakhstan’s financial sector, which will in turn help relieve pressures on businesses, especially SMEs and the non-extractive sector. 

    Inter-regional connectivity and international integration. Investing in Kazakhstan’s infrastructure remains an important focus of the EBRD. By supporting inter-regional and cross-border rail and road projects, the Bank seeks to enhance connectivity and boost the economic inclusion of remote regions of the country. 

    Green economy transition. The EBRD is the largest investor in sustainable energy in Kazakhstan, covering both renewable energy and energy-efficient technologies. It will continue to combine investment with policy engagement, in order to further help the country develop a supportive regulatory framework for sustainable energy, water and resource use. Decreasing Kazakhstan’s carbon footprint is crucial for the country’s sustainable development across all sectors, notably in agriculture, energy and industry.

    In addition to being a renewable energy champion (the Bank has earmarked €200 million for the sector in Kazakhstan), the EBRD is also the largest institutional investor overall in the country’s economy outside of the oil and gas sectors.

    In recent years, an increasing amount has been invested in crucial public utilities and small business support in nearly all regions of Kazakhstan.

    In the water utility sector, EBRD projects now produce about 267 million cubic metres of potable water every year, improving access to tap water for almost a million people. Improved wastewater services reach more than 1.3 million people across the country.

    An example of the Bank’s work with small businesses is the popular Women in Business programme, which has to date provided about 12,000 loans in the local currency, tenge, for a total equivalent to US$ 41 million, mostly outside of the largest cities Almaty and Astana.

    Inclusion is already a strong focus for the EBRD, with a new US$ 1 billion programme for projects in the energy and natural resources sectors aiming to support technical education and new jobs for local women and young people.

    Source: EBRD website

  • 05 Jul 2017 2:30 PM | Anonymous

    Export and Import Permits Act
    Serial No. 212
    Date: June 30, 2017

    On June 20, 2017 the Government of Canada finalized the regulatory process to amend the Area Control List (ACL) of the Export and Import Permits Act (EIPA). This amendment formally removes Belarus from the ACL, a list of countries to which the Governor in Council deems it necessary to control the export or transfer of any goods and technology.

    Exports of uncontrolled goods and technology (i.e. items that are not listed on Canada's Export Control List – ECL) no longer require an export permit issued under the authority of the EIPA in order to lawfully export those items to Belarus.

    For those items that are listed on Canada’s ECL, export permits are required in accordance with the regular export controls process.  More information on this process can be found in the Export Controls Handbook available at Export and Import Controls.

    This Notice also replaces Notice to Exporters No. 197 “Exports of items listed on the Export Control List to Belarus”.

    The full text of this regulation and its Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement will be available in the July 12, 2017 edition of the Canada Gazette, Part II.

    Contact Information:

    Export Controls Division (TIE)
    Global Affairs Canada 
    125 Sussex Drive
    Ottawa, Ontario
    K1A 0G2
    Tel: 343-203-4331
    Fax: 613-996-9933
    E-mail: [email protected]

    Source: Global Affairs Canada  

  • 12 Jun 2017 11:49 AM | Anonymous

    ASTANA EXPO-2017

    President Nazarbayev opens Astana EXPO-2017 World Fair, 9 June 2017

    Speaking at the ceremony, the Head of the State congratulated everyone on the opening of EXPO-2017 international specialized exhibition in Astana.


    The President of Kazakhstan has noted that Kazakhstan is the first CIS and Eastern European country to hold an exhibition of EXPO with participation of 115 states and 22 international organizations. "I would like to express my gratitude to all countries for accepting our application and the proposed theme. The exhibition on this scale is not only the efforts of one state; it is the work of the international community, representing its achievements here. The international exhibition of EXPO in Astana is a new peak in the promotion of our country and national brand "Kazakhstan" in the global space. Declaring theme "Future Energy", we intend to be in the very core of scientific progress", Nursultan Nazarbayev said. The Head of the State underlined that for a century and a half since the first world exhibition in London, humanity had experienced tremendous technological changes, and today it is on the threshold of new discoveries in the field of effective and safe energy. The President of Kazakhstan expressed his confidence that EXPO-2017 will make its unique contribution to this global process.

    "Planned activities with participation of masterminds of modern times will specify new ways of human development. Millions of Kazakhstanis and hundreds of thousands of guests from all corners of the world will get acquainted with the outstanding achievements of world scientific and engineering thought. The EXPO program includes 6 thousand different events. They will promote the development of mutual understanding between countries, productive interaction between science, business and society, as well as acquaintance with Kazakhstan’s culture. We also invite to visit other parts of our country to get acquainted with the unique nature and historical heritage", Nursultan Nazarbayev said.

    The Head of the State paid special attention to the urgency of EXPO-2017 theme for our country, underscoring the importance of environmentally balanced and sustainable development of the world as well. "Kazakhstan, despite its huge hydrocarbon reserves, will actively switch to renewable energy sources. This goal is set in our Strategy-2050 and the Concept of changing for a "green economy". By 2050, Kazakhstan can produce half of the total electricity through renewable sources. At the same time, the economy’s energy intensity will be reduced", the President of Kazakhstan said.

    In addition, Nursultan Nazarbayev spoke about the designation of objects and international pavilions of Astana EXPO-2017 exhibition complex. "Attention of all visitors will be presented to the main object - "Nur Alem" Sphere, personifying the planet. Each level is devoted to a certain type of energy. Our National Pavilion is at the base of the sphere. It includes the Zone of Acquaintance with Kazakhstan and the Zone of Creative Energy, where the best projects of Kazakhstan’s scientists are displayed. At the Expo there are over 130 expositions of countries and international organizations. In two thematic pavilions, the evolution of energy, its problems in the 21st century and technological breakthroughs in this sphere will be shown", the Head of State said.

    The President of Kazakhstan dwelled on the exhibition’s business program, within the framework of which a number of major international events are scheduled, such as the Astana Economic Forum, the Council of Foreign Investors and the Summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.

    The Head of the State expressed his confidence that the exhibition would give a new significant impetus to international cooperation and contribute to the development of science and modernization of the country's economy.

    Nursultan Nazarbayev also spoke about the further use of EXPO-2017 infrastructure after the completion of its work. "The International Financial Center Astana will launch its activities here. The International Center for Development of Green Technologies and Investments will be established. The International Technology Park of IT start-ups will open. Thus, the EXPO’s "pulse of innovation" will keep on beating for the benefit of the country, the region and the world", the President of Kazakhstan said.

    At the end of the speech, the Head of the State expressed his gratitude to all the participants in the process of preparing the EXPO-2017, and also thanked all citizens of Kazakhstan for their sincere support and assistance in implementing the idea of the exhibition. "I express special gratitude to our high guests - the heads of state and government, who found an opportunity to personally attend the opening ceremony of EXPO-2017 in Astana, Nursultan Nazarbayev concluded.

    With World Expo 2017, Kazakhstan Takes Another Step Onto the Global Stage, 09.06.2017

    This weekend's launch of Expo 2017 in Kazakhstan is this former Soviet state’s big moment. Kazakhstan is cementing its role on the world stage and out of Russia's shadow. "Due to their presence in the global market, they are certainly the most-followed country within the ‘Stans’ region," says Dmitry Gladkov, global head of financing at Renaissance Capital, a Moscow-based investment bank.

    For much of its modern day existence, Kazakhstan was a frontier of the Russian Empire, and then a Soviet republic, controlled from afar, with nothing going for it but a lot of land. With generally untapped natural resources and whole ethnic groups exiled there, Kazakhstan struggled to develop. Despite its impressive land mass, there are more people living in Shanghai than in all of KZ, as it is known abroad. Over the last decade, this mostly Muslim Central Asian nation has had some spotlights shone on it, but none quite like this one.

    Within the former Soviet Central Asia, KZ is the "Best of Show" in terms of forward-thinking, investment friendly, emerging market economics. Their three-months long Expo 2017 (part of the World’s Fair system) gives the Kazakh government a chance to highlight its development-friendly agenda and the advances they've made since leaving Moscow's control. “Kazakhstan’s government is focusing its efforts on transforming the country into a knowledge-based diversified economy driven by the private sector,” says Baljeet Grewal, director for strategy and portfolio investments at Samruk Kazyna, the country’s $67.4 billion sovereign wealth fund. “We hope the Expo will be a turning point for Kazakhstan, which will allow the country to push for the development of the IT, renewable energy and tourism industries."

    Some 115 countries and representatives from companies worldwide will be in attendance, including the United States, Brazil, Russia, India and China, which considers Kazakhstan an important cornerstone of Beijing’s new Silk Road. Roughly three million visitors are expected, for the equivalent of one million per month in Astana, KZ’s capital and home to the exposition. Astana's population is around one million. "The 'future energy' theme could very easily fall into the category of natural resources and oil in the traditional sense, but the way we are talking about this here from a U.S. point-of-view is that you need to rely more on ingenuity and innovation rather than natural resources and Kazakhstan is really open to that," says Dr. Joshua Walker, CEO of USA Pavillion, the non-profit based in Washington DC that was created to build the Epcot-like American exposition at Astana. Walker was a former senior advisor to Hillary Clinton and John Kerry in the U.S. State Department. "For the U.S., KZ is the most important country in Central Asia, bar none," he says, after listing the firm's sponsors, mostly energy giants like AES, ExxonMobil and Chevron. "These expos are a great place for a country to tell their story. It's all about raising the host country's profile and right now, on the cusp of this event, the city is frenetic. Lots of energy right here, right now," he says during a phone interview from Astana.

    Kazakhstan jumps 15 spots on IMD World Competitiveness ranking

    Astana Times, 7 June 2017

    Kazakhstan climbed from 47th to 32th place in the IMD World Competitiveness ranking, evaluating business efficiency, public finance and domestic economy. The new ranking shows Kazakhstan surpassing states such as Spain, Saudi Arabia, Poland, Portugal, Italy, Russia, Turkey and Ukraine. “Kazakhstan has demonstrated the greatest progress on public finances and domestic economy indicators. The public finances indicator jumped from 51st place to 4th, the domestic economy improved from 51st to 40th place. The country also significantly increased in the business efficiency category in all positions,” said Alexander Zemlyanichenko, expert of RBK Russian media company. Kazakhstan improved its positions for the year, rising 15 spots with an index of 76 points out of 100. Thirty-second place also was achieved by Kazakhstan in 2014 as reported the IMD World Competitiveness ranking 2014 yearbook, according to

    The World Competitiveness ranking evaluates 63 countries. This year Cyprus and Saudi Arabia were evaluated for the first time, according to the IMD Swiss business school’s annual research.

    Hong Kong took first place in the ranking for the second year in a row. Switzerland and Singapore are in second and third place. The U.S. fell from third to fourth position, receiving the worst result in the last five years. The Netherlands rose in the latest ranking to fifth place from the eighth. The IMD World Competitiveness Centre has also published a separate report ranking countries’ digital competitiveness for the first time this year. Kazakhstan took 38th place, improving from 43th place last year. The new Digital Competitiveness Ranking introduces several new criteria to measure countries’ ability to adopt and explore digital technologies leading to transformation in government practices, business models and society.

    The World Competitiveness ranking determines how countries, regions and companies manage their competencies to achieve long-term growth, generate jobs and increase welfare. The ranking assesses competitiveness using 20 indicators, divided into four categories. There are economic indicators, infrastructure, government and business efficiency categories. The indexes consist of 323 variables, such as the contribution to world GDP, gasoline prices, tax rates and the state policy transparency.

    The IMD World Competitiveness Centre has been a pioneer in the field of the competitiveness of nations and the World Economy Ranking. The IMD Centre has published the rankings every year since 1989.

    Source: Embassy of Kazakhstan to Canada Weekly News Review, June 1-10, 2017, Issue No. 222

  • 05 Jun 2017 3:53 PM | Anonymous

    Saint Petersburg, Russia (June 1, 2017) -  On June 2, 2017, the CEO of Roscongress Foundation, Mr. Stuglev, and the Chairman of the Canada Eurasia Russia Business Association (CERBA), Mr. Naumovski, signed a cooperation agreement at an official ceremony at the SPIEF Press Centre, Pavilion H, Hall H2 at St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. The ceremony  marked an important milestone for the cooperation between the two organizations. By formalizing this agreement, CERBA is thrilled to get an opportunity to develop stronger ties with the largest operator of conferences and exhibitions in Russia and exchange information, organize joint conferences, trade missions and other activities with the aim of developing trade and investment between Canada and Russia. CERBA members are participating in SPIEF 2017 and several Canadian companies have already expressed interest in joining the delegation to the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok on September 6-7, 2017.

    “Canadian companies active in the Russian market have been participating in the fora organized by Roscongress for many years.  Formalizing the Rosscongress – CERBA partnership sets the stage for greater Canadian participation and even deeper commercial ties in the future.  This more structured approach to involving the Canadian business community in the events organized by Roscosngress will improve the attention on Russian business opportunities for Canadian companies. Agreements like this enhance and support trade, investment and  good relations between Canada and Russia,” says Lou Naumovski, CERBA National Chairman.


    About Roscongress

    The Roscongress Foundation was founded in 2007 with the aim of helping to develop Russia's economic potential and strengthen the country's image by organizing congresses and exhibitions with an economic and social focus. The Foundation develops the substantive content for these events, and provides companies with advice, information, and expert guidance, as well as offering comprehensive evaluation, analysis, and coverage of the Russian and global economic agenda. Today, its annual agenda includes events held in locations ranging from Montevideo to Vladivostok, which bring together global business leaders, experts, the media, and government officials to create favourable conditions for dialogue and the promotion of new ideas and projects, and to assist in the creation of social enterprises and charity projects.

    About CERBA

    The Canada Eurasia Russia Business Association (CERBA) was founded in 2004 with a mandate to enhance and support trade, investment and good relations between the countries of Canada and Eurasia. CERBA is a unique not-for-profit organization having a network of over 140 corporations. To meet the dynamic needs of its growing membership it has established seven chapters located in Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, Calgary, Vancouver, Moscow and Almaty. In addition CERBA is developing representation in Winnipeg and Tatarstan. As an association, CERBA provides an extensive network of contacts in the private and public sectors with frequent events, informative seminars on pertinent topics in the Eurasian market, a bi-annual business summit, a printed Newsletter, committees of the Canada-Russia Business Council (CRBC) and Kazakhstan-Canada Business Council (KCBC), and annual trade missions. Additionally, CERBA provides market intelligence, advocates with the Canadian and Eurasian government on key issues, and manages active sector-based committees to promote partnership between CERBA members and their counterparts in Eurasia.

  • 24 May 2017 3:47 PM | Alex Grichine (Administrator)

    Dear CERBA Members,

    Please be advised that at the time of the confederations Cup foreign citizens arriving to Russia will have to register with Federal Migration Service within one day.

    In accordance with presidential decree No. 202 dated May 9, 2017, in the period from 1 June to 12 July 2017 at the time of the Confederations Cup in Moscow, St.-Petersburg, Kazan, and Sochi, the timeframe for registration of foreign citizens with Federal Migration Service will temporarily be reduced to one day. Registration at the place of stay must be completed either by the receiving party or directly by the foreign citizen.

    This measure is temporary and applies to all categories of foreign nationals without exception (including highly qualified specialists). Companies and foreign citizens, who violated the rules of migration registration, may be brought to administrative responsibility, followed by deportation outside the Russian Federation.

  • 15 May 2017 8:38 AM | Anonymous

    The major conference, hosted by Chukotka Governor Roman Kopin and Magadan Governor Vladimir Pecheny, took place in Moscow on April 27. Kinross was a major sponsor of the event. The purpose of the conference was to boost the investment climate in the northeast of Russia by sharing best practices, along with raising investors’ awareness of the benefits of working in the region.

    Claude Schimper, Regional Vice President, Russia, speaking on the session “Realizing the Investment Potential of the Mining Industry in Russia’s Northeast”, emphasized Kinross major contribution to the development of local communities in Chukotka and Magadan region as well as the importance of the region in Kinross’ project portfolio. Stanislav Borodyuk, Vice President and Head of the Moscow Office, moderated the session.​

  • 15 May 2017 8:33 AM | Anonymous

    APF e-newsletter, May 12, 2017

    Pamela Goldsmith-Jones, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade, will be in Beijing, China, May 14-15, to represent Canada at the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation. This forum provides Canada with an opportunity to discuss cooperation in key areas such as infrastructure connectivity, trade, investment, financial support and people-to-people exchanges throughout the Asia-Pacific region in the context of China’s Belt and Road development initiative. On the margins of the conference Parliamentary Secretary Goldsmith-Jones will seek to identify opportunities for Canadian businesses to take part in infrastructure investments in the region. While in Beijing, she will also participate in activities promoting Canada-China education programs.

    April 26, 2017

    China invites US to join Belt and Road

    China Daily reported that China encouraged the United States to participate in the Belt and Road Initiative. China’s Ambassador to the US Cui Tian Kai said the Belt and Road Initiative is dedicated to boosting such ties between countries along the trade routes rather than formulating an exclusive group. The initiative aims to achieve benefits through consultation and cooperation. Meanwhile, other media including Finland-based GBTIMES quoted Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) President Jin Liqun as saying the AIIB values cooperation with US companies and welcome firms – especially those in the fields of technology – to take part in the bidding process for AIIB infrastructure projects. He added that the institution handed out loads worth US$1.7 billion in 2016, a quarter of which were funded by the AIIB alone, with the rest jointly funded by the AIIB and other international organisations. The US and Japan are the only major countries yet to join the bank.

    May 14, 2017

    1.      Xi, Macron have friendly phone call

    China Daily reported that President Xi Jinping and French president-elect Emmanuel Macron agreed in their first telephone call to maintain contact and meet each other at an early date.  Mr Xi congratulated the president-elect and said that China has always viewed France as a cooperative partner of great significance and priority. He added that China welcomes France’s participation in building the Belt and Road Initiative. Mr Macron was reported as saying that his administration will deepen cooperation with China on diplomacy, the economy, trade and industries, and collaboration within the framework of building the Belt and Road.

    2.      Belt and Road Opportunities

    The online platform Breaking News Live reported on the Thailand and Vietnam mission led by HKTDC Chairman Vincent HS Lo.  Mr Lo was quoted as saying that China alone cannot shoulder the US$8 trillion Belt and Road infrastructure cost and recommends setting up a platform for international resources interested in Belt and Road projects to come through Hong Kong. He  added that such an initiative would provide a new breakthrough for the city’s economy and offer plenty of of opportunities for the younger generation. Mr Lo said the Council has chosen the most “investment-friendly” countries along the route. In Asia, the Council will start with places such as Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia. In the Middle East, he cited the UAE and Saudi Arabia, while Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary will be the top priorities in Europe.

    3.      Belt and Road Initiative Sets Chinese Tone for Globalisation 2.0

    Bloomberg reported that China has prepared a draft communique to promote China’s trade and economic positions. The communique includes a statement of support for the Paris Agreement on climate change as well as pledges of support to 13 separate regional bodies and cooperation agreements. It cited that China will ask 28 world leaders to sign on to President Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road Initiative on globalisation. State media have referred to the Belt and Road Initiative’s ambitions as "globalisation 2.0."

    4.      China set to build new port city for Sri Lanka

    The South China Morning Post reported that China is building a new city along Colombo’s coastline that will become its new central business district (CBD) by 2030. As part of the Belt and Road Initiative, the project will see an initial investment of US1.4 billion, making the Colombo Port City China’s biggest project to date in Sri Lanka. It will be built on 269 hectares of reclaimed land and become a modern city accommodating 200,000 residents. It will consist of apartments, hotels, offices, shopping malls, exhibition centres, providing 80,000 new jobs.

  • 09 May 2017 3:24 PM | Anonymous

    On April 7, The Embassy hosted a reception and concert by renowned Kazakh violin virtuoso Ms. Aiman Mussakhajayeva, who traveled approximately 19.000 kilometers from Astana to Ottawa and back, to perform at Global Affairs Canada.

    Two Canadian dignitaries Ms. Pamela Goldsmith-Jones, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade, and The Honorable Mr. Robert Nault, Chair of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development, delivered their welcoming remarks, where they highlighted the strong and deepening bilateral ties between our countries, praised Kazakhstan's achievements within 25 years of its independence, emphasized its leadership in global issues, expressed their readiness to further expand the relations.

    H.E. Konstantin Zhigalov, Ambassador of Kazakhstan to Canada, briefly described the key achievements of a quarter century relations and emphasized Kazakhstan's desire to promoting even strong and friendly ties with Canada.

    Ms. Mussakhajayeva brilliantly performed the masterpieces of the great classical music composers such as Tchaikovsky's "Melody", Brahm's “Sonata for Violin and Piano No. 3 in Re minor", Manuel de Falla's “Spanish dance" etc. The performance of Kazakh violin virtuoso was very well received and the guest gave her a standing ovation.

  • 09 May 2017 9:54 AM | Anonymous

    By Christophe-Alfred Rouleau-Dick

    A new Canada Tariff Finder tool will allow Canadian companies to quickly find information about tariffs that may be added to the goods they export to foreign markets under the various free trade agreements (FTAs) Canada has made with other countries.

    The new online tool enables Canadians to quickly access information about tariffs. There is no fee to use the service which is available at With just a few clicks, users can search for a product by keyword or by its Harmonized System code and quickly access the tariff data that applies to their products. The tool’s different functions make it simple to compare tariff information across various export markets, and to identify and forecast business opportunities related to the elimination or reduction of tariffs.

    Canada has concluded several trade agreements that open promising new opportunities for Canadian products, in part by eliminating or reducing tariffs, which may provide a competitive advantage for a Canadian company exporting to that market. However, because tariffs vary in each market and for each product—even under free trade agreements—precise information is crucial for businesses exploring possibilities in a particular market. Accessing specific tariff information has proved challenging for some companies—especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with limited resources.

    Aware of the need to make this information more accessible to Canadian companies, the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service (TCS) joined forces with the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and Export Development Canada (EDC) to develop the Canada Tariff Finder.

    “Trade agreements unlock new opportunities, and lower the overall costs of doing business. The Canada Tariff Finder will make it easier for Canadian businesses to access tariff information for their products when exploring export opportunities. This useful tool is part of a coordinated effort by the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service, BDC, and EDC to ensure Canadian businesses are ready to take advantage of Canada’s free trade agreements,” says Ailish Campbell, Chief Trade Commissioner at Global Affairs Canada.

    Markets covered by the tool include the 28 countries of the European Union (EU) under the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), Mexico and the United States under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), South Korea, Peru, and two of the four members of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA): Switzerland and Iceland. New countries will be added over time to create a more comprehensive list of Canada’s free trade partners. The Canada Tariff Finder already contains the tariff information that will apply upon provisional application of CETA.

    It is important to note that the tariff information contained in the tool is for information purposes only. The customs authorities from the importing countries make the final decision on what tariffs apply to imported goods. Users must verify these tariffs with the customs authorities of the country to which they intend to export.

    Source: Government of Canada, Trade Commissioner Service

  • 01 May 2017 11:01 AM | Anonymous

    Astana Times, 28 April 2017

    Kazakh Prime Minister Bakytzhan Sagintayev and other top officials presented April 27 the outlines of the draft National Investment Attraction and Retention Strategy and the recently created Kazakh Invest national company as part of efforts to further attract foreign capital.

    “Today, we are ready to present our vision of the solution to the task set by the President. Kazakh Invest has been formed on the basis of the old KAZNEX Invest with its complete restructuring. I was appointed the chairperson of the Board of Directors of the company. We deliberately raised its status to the level of a prime minister in order to stress the importance of our priorities in investment policy,”  Sagintayev  said  during  an  April  27  briefing  for  the  diplomatic  corps  at  the  Ministry  of Foreign Affairs on the strategy and company, noting both are still under development.

    Sagintayev  told  the  gathering,  which  included  ambassadors  and  top  diplomats  from  around  60 countries as well as international organisations, the strategy and company are an attempt to reload Kazakhstan’s  approach  to  attracting  foreign  investment  to  maintain  the  lead  in  this  sphere  and increase  non-oil  investment.  He  said  the  new  strategy  and  company  would  also  assist  investors operating in the regions.

    Head of  the  Vienna Office of  the Investment  Climate Practice  Group  of  the World  Bank  Group’s Trade  and  Competitiveness  Global  Practice  Ivan  Nimac  presented  the  draft  of  the  National Investment Attraction and Retention Strategy.

    The strategy is a roadmap to diversify the share of investments with high added value focused on increasing efficiency, he said. “The  types  of  investments  must  be  changed  to  facilitate  the  process  of  economic  diversification. They should be focused not only on raw materials or natural resources, they should move towards other  types  of  investments:  qualitative  and  quantitative.  We  are  looking  for  more  effective investments to ensure economic growth and modernisation,” Nimac said. Nimac  said  the  strategy’s  goals  would  be  achieved  by  attracting  new  types  of  investments, increasing the benefits of existing foreign direct investments, conducting strategic privatisation and using more widely public-private partnerships (PPPs).

    Kazakh Minister for Investments and Development Zhenis Kassymbek said the new strategy will be developed by the end of June and focus on defining priority investment industries and developing an Investment  Project  Map,  identifying  target  companies  and  international  investment  funds  and improving the investment environment, investment attracting mechanisms and financial instruments.

    The strategy was developed with the help of World Bank experts and incorporates recommendations from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, said Sagintayev. Chairperson of the Board of Kazakh Invest Maksat Kabashev and Kassymbek briefed the diplomats on the company’s goals, tasks and interaction with state bodies and investors. “Kazakh Invest is not only a new name; it is the emergence of a whole new paradigm. Our focus is on investors. We find new investors, but we don’t forget about the existing ones. We know what they want and we want them to work in Kazakhstan. The main principle of Kazakh Invest is to help, without hindering,” Kabashev said. “This means moving to a more efficient, rational and business- oriented form of attracting investment to the country.”

    Kazakh Invest will operate on a “one-stop shop” and will accompany investors through the entirety of  their  projects,  from  pitching  them  opportunities,  to  preparing  investment  proposals  to  the implementation and functioning of the business, Kassymbek said. The company has offices abroad and in all Kazakh regions. The board of directors headed by the prime minister also includes heads of ministries and top-level foreign consultants. “To date, nineteen sectors have been created in the regions to provide services to investors. In the regions,  representatives  of  Kazakh  Invest  will  be  given  the  status  of  external  advisors  to  akims (governors and mayors) of the regions and cities of Astana and Almaty,” Kassymbek added. Kassymbek said a monitoring system will also be introduced allowing investors to monitor online the progress of the services they receive.

    Kassymbek  also  updated  the  diplomatic  corps  on  measures  that  have  already  been   carried  out, including  simplification  of  licensing  procedures  reducing  required  permits,  encouraging  public-private  partnerships,  establishing  free  economic  zones,  adopting  a  new  law  on  arbitration  and appointing an investment ombudsman.

    These measures have resulted in foreign investment in 2016 of $20.6 billion, which is a 40 percent increase over 2015. Kazakhstan currently ranks 35th on the World Bank’s (WB) Doing Business Index.

    Kassymbek  also  praised  the  activities  of  organisations  such  as  the  Council  of  Foreign  Investors under the President, the Council for Improving the Investment Climate under the Government, the Kazakhstan  Foreign  Investors  Council  Association,  the  European  Business Association  of Kazakhstan and the Investment Ombudsman Institute.