WEEKLY REVIEW. Kazakhstan improves business climate, expects increase in foreign investment inflow


Muratbek Makulbekov

WEEKLY REVIEW. Kazakhstan improves business climate, expects increase in foreign investment inflowOn Monday, December 5, the Innovative Forum timed to the 20th jubilee of Kazakhstan’s independence was held in Astana.

The forum gathered representatives of the Government and local authorities, heads of national companies and holdings, development institutes, businessmen and international experts who summed up the results of Kazakhstan’s innovative development for 20 years and outlined plans for medium- and long-term perspective. The event was organized by JSC “National Innovation Fund”.

Kazakh Prime Minister Karim Massimov announced that the first sitting of the Kazakh Government in 2012 would be devoted to the issues of business involvement in the development of science and innovations. “Last week the Government was instructed until February 1 to prepare a special program on business involvement in the development of science and innovations,” Massimov noted.

Vice Premier -Minister of Industry and New Technologies of Kazakhstan Asset Issekeshev said that for the past two years Kazakhstan witnessed significant innovation activity growth.

“Kazakhstan has approached its 20th anniversary with certain results,” he noted. “The innovation grant scheme was launched in Kazakhstan last year. Its efficiency is proved by twofold increase in the number of applicants. Besides, the efficiency of regional industrial clusters which for the first time provide the complete range of technological business incubation services increased as well.”

On Tuesday, December 6, Premier Massimov and Acting Prime

Minister of Kyrgyzstan Omurbek Babanov talked over the phone. Massimov told his Kyrgyz counterpart that Kazakhstan would supply additional 10 million cubic meters of gas to Kyrgyzstan.

At the Government’s sitting on Tuesday Kazakh Minister of Education and Science Bakytzhan Zhumagulov informed of the plans to reduce the number of higher educational institutions in Kazakhstan. About 100 higher education institutions will remain in Kazakhstan in three-four years, he said answering the questions of journalists after the Government’s session. According to him, presently 148 universities function in Kazakhstan and not all of them provide quality education.

On the same day Kazakh Prime Minister Karim Massimov attended the first sitting of the Presidential Innovation Club. Kazakhstani innovations must be competitive all over the world, he said during the sitting.

“In our fast changing world, when many industrialized countries such as the U.S., UK are again talking about innovation and industrialization, it is important to understand who will be the consumer of all these innovations, since the rate of innovation in the world, in my opinion, will grow exponentially,” Massimov noted.

“Our Kazakhstani innovators should look very carefully at those markets where these innovations will be sent to … They should be competitive all over the world,” the Premier emphasized.

On Wednesday, December 7, Karim Massimov met with Prime Minister of Georgia Nika Gilauri in Astana.

The Georgian Premier emphasized that economic cooperation with Kazakhstan is of great importance for his country. He noted that political relations between the two countries are at the best level and invited the Kazakh Premier to visit Tbilisi.

On the same day Massimov addressed via video-link the Kazakh-U.S. investment forum, which took place in New York under the auspices of the Kazakh Embassy to the U.S.  The forum focused on a wide range of issues of Kazakh-US cooperation, development of industry, agriculture, financial sector, nuclear technologies and oil and gas sector. A presentation of Samruk-Kazyna National Welfare Fund opportunities was held there as well.

The Prime Minister said that the Government of Kazakhstan has developed a plan to help protect our economy in the event of a negative scenario in the world. The plan consists of three broad directions that are priorities of development in the years ahead. The first is economic diversification. The second direction is investment in education and health. The third priority is strengthening of small and medium businesses.

Masimov said that now, with an improved business climate and many opportunities for growth Kazakhstan is waiting for more active international participation in its economic development. He stressed that the United States is one of the important partners of our country.

On Friday, December 9, Karim Massimov awarded the winners of the “The Best Product of Kazakhstan-2011” competition-exhibition and “Paryz” businesses’ social responsibility contest.

On the same day Kazakh governmental delegation headed by Deputy Prime Minister Yerbol Orynbayev participated in the work of Investment Committee of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in Paris. The delegation presented the Investment Policy Review of Kazakhstan prepared by the Kazakh Cabinet of Ministers jointly with the OECD experts.

This event was an important step for Kazakhstan for obtaining a status of observer in the OECD Investment Committee, interaction with which will significantly improve implementation of our country’s investment policy.

The OECD Investment Committee members praised the efforts of Kazakh Government on creation of a favorable investment climate.

Representatives of the OECD member states and secretariat congratulated Kazakhstan on the 20th anniversary of independence, outlined significant progress of our country on the way of economic and political reforming, and wished further success in foreign investments attraction.