Financial Times Live and fDi Magazine are delighted to be partnering with Kazakh Invest and Samruk-Kazyna to produce the Kazakhstan Investment Forum 2019: a high-level gathering that will explore the vast opportunities that Kazakhstan offers and provide an update on the exciting developments that have taken place in the country in recent months. The Kazakhstan Investment Forum 2019 is being held alongside the third meeting of the Kazakh-British Business Council.
Much has happened in Kazakhstan since the previous event: the country has a new president, and a smooth political transition is already well underway.
There is also a new investment promotion and facilitation framework, and a raft of new investment opportunities on offer. It also has an increasingly attractive investment environment. Proof that the hard work of reform is paying dividends, Kazakhstan cracked the top 30 of the prestigious World Bank Doing Business 2019 index. It is now ranked 28th out of 190 countries, after climbing eight places in just one year.
This year, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan has been given new functions in the sphere of investments attraction and a mandate to bring strategic investors into the most important sectors of the economy: manufacturing, mining and metallurgy, chemicals, financial services agro-industry, alternative energy and cleantech, infrastructure, logistics, and digital industries. Such institutions as Kazakh Invest, the Astana International Financial Centre and the Direct Investment Fund are also working to create a favourable environment for investors and assisting with numerous fundraising opportunities.
In addition, the sovereign wealth fund of Kazakhstan, Samruk-Kazyna, is playing a pivotal role in Kazakhstan’s economic development, acting as a vehicle in attracting investments to the country. Managing the largest state assets of Kazakhstan from various industries -- mining, transport and logistics, energy and telecommunications -- the Fund contributes in implementation of the Belt and Road programme.
The Astana International Financial Centre, based on the principles of British Common Law, is an important platform for attracting FDI with the appropriate financial instruments and international level services. Investors already enjoy favourable conditions including independent regulation, court, international arbitration centre that meets international standards and provides legal comfort to foreign investors.
Kazakhstan is currently benefiting enormously from China’s Belt and Road initiative. Thus, there are ongoing serious talks to develop tri-party partnership involving UK, Kazakhstan and China on the principle of British project management matched with Kazakh resources and access to the Chinese market. Trilateral partnership may include infrastructure projects under the Public-private partnership agreement.
Investors are taking notice. According to data service fDi Markets, the number of greenfield investment projects announced or launched in Kazakhstan more than doubled in 2018. UK companies have invested more than £770 million in such projects over the past five years. Resource extraction company Kazatomprom completed a successful IPO on the London Stock Exchange.
But there is scope for much more. This rapidly-evolving economy strategically located at the crossroads of Europe and Asia is emerging as a valuable new commercial partner for the post-Brexit UK, and making connections there is essential. Join us for lively discussions, practical insights into doing business, and networking with key stakeholders in Kazakhstan’s economic development.