Special еconomic zone to be created in Khorgos

A special economic zone with tax breaks will be created in the international cross-border cooperation center "Khorgos" in Almaty region. Kazakhstan’s government has already signed a decree and prepared a corresponding draft law that will regulate the activity of the SEZ. At present, they are building a huge complex, which will include a hotel and a shopping center with an area of 100 thousand square meters, and a wellness center.

IGOR ZELYAMOV, CHIEF OF BUILDING SITE:

- The project is worth 200 billion tenge. It is divided into three stages, at present we should finish the foundation before the New Year - this is the first stage - a shopping and entertainment complex with all the advanced technology. There will be a huge underground parking and a 2-storey European-style building with national elements. This facility employs 100 people, the deadline is the end of 2018, we must complete the construction by that time.

There will be many such complexes on the territory of the special economic zone. After all, the SEZ is occupying 460 hectares. The main emphasis will be made on the objects attractive for foreign visitors. An interesting architectural approach will be used in the craftsmen city. There also will be a modern race track, museums, exhibition halls, five-star hotels and even an amusement park. Currently, 20 largest investors are implementing their projects on the territory of the Khorgos International Centre of Boundary Cooperation. The incentive for them will be benefits for 18 types of activities, which will enter into force as early as next year.

KAHARMAN JAZIN, PRESIDENT, KHORGOS INTERNATIONAL CENTRE OF BOUNDARY COOPERATION:

- Every investor has 10 objects such as hotels, wellness centers, and even concert halls. At least 5-7 more investors will come before the end of the year. If we calculate in square meters we will finish 200-250 thousands square meters, and by the end of the next year, I think, by 2-3 times more.

1,500 Kazakh tourists per day used to visit Khorgos center five years ago. At present, this flow has increased almost fivefold. 15-17 thousand people come here from the Chinese side. Work is underway to improve the procedure for crossing the center's checkpoint. The terminal’s working hours have been increased, now it works from 7 am to 7 pm. Visitors were allowed to cross the border with their national identity documents since November last year. Special terminals and tourist maps for travel payment have been installed to avoid long queues. A special smartphone application is being developed.

ARDAK NUGMANOV, DIRECTOR, SUBSIDIARY COMPANY OF KHORGOS:

 - About 6,000 people visit us. Border crossing process is flawless. Buses come and leave on time. Everything works smoothly.

The number of Kazakh and foreign tourists has increased significantly in five years. The center was visited by more than 700,000 Kazakhstanis and 2.5 million Chinese since the beginning of this year. This figure will increase by several times after the completion of construction of all the facilities.