29th session of Foreign Investors' council held in Astana
The most ambitious projects were discussed during the 29th Foreign Investors Council in Astana. Some influential politicians, economists and CEOs of major corporations with large revenues were thinking of prospective investments. Nursultan Nazarbayev also attended the meeting. The Head of State pointed out the need to create a new model of economic development to achieve a strategic goal for the country - joining the world’s 30 developed countries. Nursultan Nazarbayev offered concrete figures of the beneficial cooperation.
NURSULTAN NAZARBAYEV, PRESIDENT OF KAZAKHSTAN
Nearly $9 billion will be attracted to Kazakhstan as part of the cooperation with the international financial organizations like the World Bank, EBRD, ADB and IDB in the next 5 years. The funds will be used to develop business, financial sector, infrastructure, electricity and implement institutional reforms. At the same time, foreign investment in the amount of about $10 billion will support the industrialization program.
These amounts indicate the interest of global investors. However, the current dialogue is taking place amid economic instability and the deterioration of the situation in some markets in the world. According to the business community, the crisis itself is not as significant as the reaction. And as a rule some businesses leave the markets in particular those whose governments do not even attempt to adapt to new realities.
JAMES COWLES, CITI'S CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER FOR EUROPE, MIDDLE EAST& AFRICA
We have a long history here, we believe in the future of the country as well. We take a look at the policies the government is making whether monitoring policy, fiscal policy, other reforms, making other right decisions in terms of being able to continue to position Kazakhstan as a growing country and increasingly important on the global marketplace.
On top of that, Kazakhstan is among the five largest markets of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. According to experts, reforms that are being taken in the country trigger more investments.
Suma CHKRABARTI, PRESIDENT OF EUROPEAN BANK FOR RECONSTRUCTION ABD DEVELOPMENT:
So, last year in total, we invested over a hundred and twenty million euros in agriculture and free production in Kazakhstan and put a dedicated team on the ground here. That’s a major achievement both for EBRD and for Kazakhstan we should be proud of it. Now the push on agribusiness projects is part of the much bigger oil increasing investment by EBRD in Kazakhstan. Our total investment here for last year amounted to more than 700 million euros.
Experts also discussed the bold step in such difficult times for Kazakhstan – the establishment of the International Financial Centre Astana. It will include the world's major banks and other financial institutions that will conduct currency, credit transactions, transactions with securities and gold. Kazakhstan will greatly benefit from the capital of large investors.
NURSULTAN NAZARBAYEV, PRESIDENT OF KAZAKHSTAN:
According to economists, the total cumulative effect from the creation of the center, its regional expansion could reach about $40 billion over the next 10 years.
Head of the International Financial Centre Kairat Kelimbetov presented the system of its operation to the President. Nursultan Nazarbayev stressed that Astana will rightly become the aviation hub in the chain of world financial centers. In addition, the new financial center will be at the site of the international exhibition EXPO. Which means that all facilities built as part of the EXPO will work to generate income under the new unprecedented for the country project.
The participants of the center and its staff will be exempt from paying taxes. They will also benefit from a simplified visa and labor regime. The independent court will guarantee the protection of investors' rights.
Erik SCHEER, MEMBER OF GLOBAL EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE AT BAKER & MCKENZIE:
One of the key elements for the Astana financial center will be the new court and new arbitration center for the financial and investment disputes. They are critical to the success of the financial center. Why? U may ask. Because, we doubt in independence and transparence of judicial system. Which disputes are results fairly by qualified and impartial judges with decisions coming in force with both inside and outside of Kazakhstan. Investors may be reluctant to participate in the Astana Financial Center. And the Center may feel to live up this potential.