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Kazakhstan attracts major investment from global funds and international businesses

Investment

International investors Franklin Templeton, VPE Capital and Vedra Partners are among a growing number of firms targeting Kazakhstan, according to a major new report.

Economic and political reforms are helping transform sentiment towards Kazakhstan – attracting prominent investors as well as businesses, with satellite company OneWeb and US technology group Honeywell the latest companies to commence operations in the country.

Is now the time to invest in Kazakhstan? A report from The Chamber of International Commerce of Kazakhstan finds that a robust legal system – including the rule of English Common Law in the Astana International Financial Centre – as well as an industrial and business base diversifying beyond abundant natural resources, underpinned by a young and well-educated population, are making the country ever more investable.

The report quotes leading investors and global market specialists:

Marius Dan, Franklin Templeton, said: “An exciting investment opportunity considering Kazakhstan’s economic stability, abundant natural resources, strong commodity market fundamentals and the political and economic reforms by President Tokayev.”

Roland Nash, VPE Capital, said: “It is a country with enormous potential driven by international trade. Its unique geographical position makes it extremely well placed to take full advantage of the rise of China/Asian trade but also the rapidly growing European demand for the vital commodities Kazakhstan produces.”

“Kazakhstan has always been at the forefront of change in the region, friendly and open to foreign investments and has done exceptionally well at attracting high profile investments from Europe, US, India and Korea amongst others which have made it stand out amongst Central Asian peers.”

Michel Danechi, Vedra Partners, said: “The macroeconomic fundamentals and the recently announced reforms have definitely put the country on the right track and created a strong basis for investing in Kazakhstan. We are very positive on the proposed reforms but need to see them implemented and maintained for years to come.”

Ayuna Nechaeva, Head of Europe, the London Stock Exchange, said: “The investment climate for Kazakhstan is improving and we look forward to higher levels of primary and secondary market activity over the medium and longer term, as a result.”

Chris Weafer, Chief Executive Officer, Macro-Advisory said: “The reform programme is capturing the attention of investors, with the trajectory for attracting inward investment looking more positive.”

The Report highlights Kazakhstan’s geographical location – at the crossroads of Eurasia – as a major advantage in building trade and attracting companies to locate there.

The EU remains Kazakhstan’s biggest trading partner. Last year EU imports from Kazakhstan were $20.51 billion, according to the United Nations COMTRADE database. There are also more than 4,000 companies with European connections currently operating in Kazakhstan.

Since independence 31 years ago, international investors have injected more than $380 billion into Kazakhstan’s economy – 70 percent of the total investment flow into the whole Central Asian region during that period. Foreign Direct Investment in Kazakhstan in the second quarter of 2022 reached $7.58 billion – its highest level for a decade.

The Report concludes that leading global investors and businesses view Kazakhstan as increasingly investable, as it spreads its wings economically whilst, in parallel, entering a new phase of its political development.

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