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Kazakhstan: More power to the Investment Council to streamline decision-making processes and attract resources


© Agenzia Nova - Reproduction reserved

The president of Kazakhstan, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, strengthened the powers of the Investment Promotion Council, as part of the national strategy aimed at attracting investors and financing to the country. This was reported by the Kazakh presidency. As a result of a presidential decree signed on December 4, the Council, an "investment headquarters", will be able to make binding decisions on central and local public bodies and issue temporary regulatory acts having the force of law. It will also have the authority to recommend disciplinary actions, including the dismissal of public managers. The leadership of the Council will report to the Presidency of the Republic, sending reports on a quarterly basis. The decree aims to simplify decision-making processes, to create a more favorable investment environment and strengthen the confidence of investors, both domestic and foreign. Furthermore, the strengthening of the Council aims to direct investments in sectors of crucial interest, in particular manufacturing, to guarantee the sustainable development of the economy.

The strengthening of the Investment Promotion Council comes in addition to other measures, in particular the recent amendments to the Tax Code and the Decree on State Investment Support, which have already provided investors with greater choice and participation in various sectors of the economy. More generally, Kazakhstan has launched a broad program of economic reforms, outlined by the president in his speech to the nation in September. Domestic policies add to the drive to tighten economic ties globally. An example of this is the visit just concluded by Tokayev to Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, to participate in COP28, the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). On the sidelines of the event, 20 agreements were signed with foreign companies for a total value of 4,85 billion dollars. The agreements concern projects in the green energy, infrastructure and digitalisation sectors.

According to the "World Investment Report 2023", the latest report from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad), Kazakhstan recorded an increase in the inflow of foreign direct investments of 83 percent last year, for a total of 6,1 billion dollars, compared to 3,3 billion dollars the previous year. The growth is higher than the 39 percent recorded by the entire Central Asian region (ten billion dollars), in which the country ranks first as an investment destination, with a share of 61 percent. The majority of the resources invested, 4,1 billion dollars, is intended for extractive industries and comes mainly from multinational companies with headquarters in the Netherlands and the United States. Furthermore, Kazakhstan is in the top ten of developing countries receiving international investments in renewable energy for the period 2015-22: it is in fifth place, with a 31 percent share of the value of projects, equal to five percent of the total allocated to developing economies.

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