Kazakhstan’s economy showed steady growth in 2017. According to experts' forecasts, the republic’s GDP will reach more than 4% in 11 months. The opening of new industrial enterprises, development of the agro-industrial complex and the SME boosted up export potential and digital manufacturing. The main factor of growth was the implementation of innovative and infrastructure projects as part of state programs.

AIZHAN MUKHYSHBAYEVA, LEADING EXPERT, INSTITUTE OF WORLD ECONOMY AND POLITICS:

 - There is a positive trend in foreign trade. According to the results of 10 months, exports grew by 33% compared to the previous year. Import increased by 15-16%. Investments in fixed assets have also increased by 5-6% compared to the previous year.

2017 marked a dynamic growth of foreign investments. Among the prioritized spheres are agriculture, trade, construction and industry. Kazakh Invest national company was created this year. Investment strategy was developed jointly with the World Bank. The program is designed to attract almost $118 billion in Kazakhstan in the next five years.

LARISA DZHUMAGALIEVA, DEPUTY CHAIRWOMAN, COMMITTEE OF INVESTMENTS AND DEVELOPMENT:

 - If the growth made up 40.5% in 2016, then in the first half of 2017, the gross inflow of foreign investments amounted to 205 billion US dollars, an increase of 8.6%. We believe that this is a very good trend.

At the same time, the mutual trade of the EAEU countries grew by almost 27% in 10 months. Kazakhstan has ratified the draft law on the new Customs Code of the Eurasian Economic Union, which will come into force on January 1. It will greatly facilitate the conduct of foreign economic activities and will maximize the use of export potential.

TATYANA VALOVAYA, EEC MINISTER FOR INTEGRATION AND MACROECONOMICS:

 - This is a considerable growth. Our estimates suggest that without the Eurasian economic union, if it did not start functioning in 2015, then all our countries would have had significantly lower indicators

This year, Kazakhstan benefited from the implementation of transit transport projects. 70% of infrastructure was upgraded in Kazakhstan due to the conjugation of the programs Nurly Zhol and Silk Road Economic Belt. A large number of goods are transported via Kazakhstani railway to Europe, Central Asia and the Persian Gulf. In addition, a car ferry terminal was launched in Kuryk seaport, a key link in the Trans-Caspian transport corridor. Operation of two railway and two automobile docks will allow processing of 6 million tonnes of cargo per year.

TALGAT OSPANOV, DEPUTY DIRECTOR GENERAL, PORT KURYK:

 - Next year we are planning to ship up to 300 million tonnes of cargo. There is a lot of work to do. Four ships are in the queue now. There are about 500 more cars waiting for their turn. Among them are cargoes from China. They transport coal, grain, oil products and other goods. There are three Azerbaijani ships, two more went to sea. One vessel is being loaded with 50 wagons, they will be sent to Baku.

Formation of the Astana International Financial Center (AIFC) was probably one of the main achievements for Kazakhstan in 2017. Kazakhstan prepared the infrastructure of the center, made the necessary changes in the legislation and attracted leading international experts. The AIFC stock exchange will start functioning on January 1. It is expected that the center will become a financial hub for the countries of Central Asia, the Caucasus, the Eurasian Economic Union, the Middle East, Western China, Mongolia and Europe.

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