Weekly Review: Kazakhstan improves investment climate and its social policy


Muratbek Makulbekov

Weekly Review: Kazakhstan improves investment climate and its social policyKazakhstan keeps on improving its social policy. In the context of realization of the economic diversification and industrial and innovation development plan the attraction of foreign investments becomes one of the pressing issues. In this regard, the Government works on further improvement of the country’s investment climate.

On Monday, the bill “On amendments to some legislative acts on state youth policy” was approved at the Governmental meeting. Education and Science Minister Bakhytzhan Zhumagulov noted that the draft law was elaborated pursuant to the President’s instruction set at the first congress of Zhas Otan youth wing. It is purposed to contribute to the youth socio-economic development, development of conditions for its active participation in public and social life.

Vice Premier – Industry and New Technologies Minister Asset Issekeshev told about the measures to support foreign investors, in particular, special concessions. Special regime will embrace strategic investment projects. The list of strategic investment projects will be approved by the Government resolution.

The same day at the meeting of the State Commission for Economic Modernization Issekeshev said that the Interior Ministry plans to register foreign nationals on-line through the Ministry’s web portal. In order to attract foreign investors to Kazakhstan it is crucial to facilitate foreign citizens’ registration procedure. Issekeshev also proposed to register foreigners at the large hotels.

Deputy Chairman of the Board of Samruk Kazyna Sovereign Wealth Fund Kuandyk Bishimbayev introduced a new draft housing construction development programme. The PM suggested pioneering the programme in Astana and Shymkent cities.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Karim Massimov said addressing the VI Eurasian KAZENERGY 2011 Forum in Astana that industry has always been playing a key role in Kazakhstan’s rapid development.

Foreign energy companies were the first to channel their investments into Kazakhstan and remain the largest investors in Kazakhstan. Therefore, we attach special importance to the contribution of our foreign partners, many of whom are here today,” Massimov noted.

The slowdown in economic growth, worsening of the financial situation in the U.S. and the escalation of the debt crisis in Europe have destroyed confidence and rekindled the risk of recession. Investors doubt the ability of governments to get the necessary support for decisive political action.

At the same time “it is especially painful for the industry that uses large investments. In this regard, the Government of Kazakhstan recognizes the need to be proactive in attracting and retaining investment”, the Prime Minister said. He stressed that “Kazakh Government is making efforts to improve business climate.” ”

Kazakhstan improves its business environment to let the energy sector get success, he added.

“Currently the energy projects become more capital intensive, and Kazakh Government knows that attraction of necessary investments requires dynamic development. In this context we improve business environment so the energy sector could undertake necessary risks and create additional value and strive for success,” the PM said.

We are making the first steps towards developing nuclear energy. In June we have adopted a new program of energy development, which involves the establishment of Kazakhstan’s first nuclear power plant. The tragic events at the Japanese nuclear power plant Fukushima give us new experience to think about the development of the sector. Nevertheless, we believe that Kazakhstan has every opportunity to develop this sector of energy,” Massimov noted.

Kazakhstan has everything it needs for production, consumption and transit of energy. “Lessons from Fukushima teach us to create safe energy sector in the world, in particular in Kazakhstan,” the Premier emphasized.

Kazakh Ministry of Oil and Gas is studying the issue of expanding Tengiz oil field, Minister Sauat Mynbayev made public at KAZENERGY-2011 Forum on Tuesday in Astana.

“The project provides for increasing oil production from the current 26 million to 36 million tons. I suppose the project will be submitted for consideration of the authorized body in the nearest future,” he noted.

Countries of the Customs Union have agreed on the national regime for oil transport, including export,” Mynbayev said.

Besides, the countries also agreed that Kazakhstan will provide for 100 % its home market with domestic oil starting from 2014. “We have already put this question forward due to different tax regulations in our countries, in particular, for the payment and oil export duty rates won’t be unified, the Minister added.

The second position is that we will sell petrochemicals absolutely free without any fees. The third position foresees embarking on the common technical regulations and standards in this sphere,” he added.

On Wednesday, October 5, Minister Issekeshev told the Forum about the prospects for the development of clean technologies on Kazakhstan. The share of Kazakhstan’s energy production derived from renewable energy sources will make slightly over 1% by 2014. “The increase of the share of renewable energy sources in the electricity sector should promote the development of environmentally friendly technologies. According to our program, renewable energy will provide 1 billion kW/h or slightly over 1 percent of domestic energy production by 2014, and 3 percent by 2020,” the Minister noted.

In this regard, the Government of Kazakhstan is planning to make amendments to the legislation on renewable energy sources in order to stimulate investment in alternative energy sources.

Coal-fired power plants currently fuel 75% of Kazakhstan’s electricity. 12% of the electricity is generated by gas and oil-fired power plants and 9% – by hydro power stations.

On Tuesday Astana hosted the 20th session of the Educational Council under the Integration Committee of the Eurasian Economic Community the education ministers of Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus and Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan signed the joint statement confirming the readiness to further integration of educational systems, harmonization of national legislations and exchanging of relevant regulatory acts.

The same day Transport and Communications Minister Berik Kamaliyev reported that reconstruction of all 6 international corridors 8,415 km long will be completed by 2015.

1st Deputy Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Umirzak Shukeyev addressing the Civil Alliance forum highlighted significance of the outcomes of the previous civil alliances and of the current one for it marked with achievements in the area of cooperation with NGOs.

It brought together about 600 heads of NGos of Kazakhstan, reps of political parties, trade unions and NGOs from CIS and non-CIS countries.

Upon completion of the forum there were elaborated recommendations and proposals for the development of the civil society in Kazakhstan.

On Friday, October 7 Kazakh Prime Minister Karim Massimov has met with President of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaite and took part in the Kazakh-Lithuanian Business Forum.

Later Massimov visited the under construction facilities in Astana on Friday. He visited the construction sites of a future Astana Media Center, an opera and ballet theater, a triumphal arch, the Hazrat Sultan mosque, a school student’s palace, an assembly plant for the Talgo passenger trains.