Astana Establishes Direct Dialogue of Investors

Investment attractiveness of Kazakhstan is proven by the fact that after the global financial crisis, which has weakened mutual trust between European and Asian partners, it is Astana to hold the Annual Summit of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the accompanying events on May 20th -21th  in Astana.

The role of Astana as a moderator assuring the dialogue of civilizations within political context is known among international community. Kazakhstan has become an arena for the talks between West and East within the frameworks of the OSCE Chairmanship and it sets the same goal as a Chairman at the Organization of Islamic Conference. The capital of Kazakhstan held the meetings of spiritual leaders within the frameworks of the summit of world and traditional religions. However, in the context of economy Nazarbayev as an integrator has started to act more intensively exactly during the period of the global financial crisis. He saw the chance for his country to get out of the market shock renovated. In this respect the state has launched a big-scale program to boost industrial-innovative development of economy. Astana attracts actively international investors to this process. By this, in comparison with pre-crisis times it orients them on the accomplishment of the projects of non-raw-materials sector. And international business replies with interest.  As known, recently the IV Astana Economic Forum has been held in Astana, which gathered more than three thousand participants from 80 states of the world. It resulted into adoption of the recommendations for the G20. In near future a number of other events is planned, which include the Conference of Foreign Investors with the participation of the President Nursultan Nazarbayev, the Annual Summit of the EBRD and others.

The Council of Foreign Investors by the President is an efficient mechanism, forming business climate of the state. Another 24th plenary session of advisory body shall be devoted to one of the key issues of economy development – modernization of operating enterprises.

The Council was established under the patronage of Nazarbayev in 1998. And its role is pretty significant. Direct dialogue of investors with the leadership of the country for urgent solution of problematic issues, related with their activity and investment climate in general has played its positive role. It is proven by the scope of attracted direct investments. Since 1993 Kazakhstan has attracted more than 122 billion USD. Significant is the fact that in the report of the World Bank of 2010, the Republic is acknowledged as the leader of reforms promotion in the benefit of business. However, within the global rating of states with the most favorable business climate Kazakhstan still takes the 59th position among 183 states (although it has improved its position for 15 point during a year). According to the experts’ estimations, there are reasons to recognize the potential for development.

In this view important is the XX Anniversary EBRD Conference, which will be visited as expected by 2,5 thousand of guests and Forum’s participants. Among them the representatives of 61 states – shareholders of the bank, the European Union and European Investment Bank, international financial organizations as Asian Development Bank, Islamic Development Bank, International Monetary Fund, the group of the World Bank and others.

The meeting will allow to analyze the latest changes within political, economic and financial spheres, as well as to observe the prospects of business leading. Kazakhstani authorities expect the increase of European investments into native economy.

Within the frameworks of the EBRD Session the following events will be held: session of bank executives, Business Forum. Astana shall also welcome an Investment Forum on the subject “Kazakhstan, Investments, Industrialization, Innovations”. Potential European investors will be provided with detailed information on the measures undertaken by the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan to support international investments, on attractive investment projects, there will also be the exhibition of achievements in various spheres of Kazakhstani economy.

Except for that, within the period of May 18th – 21st it is planned to hold a joint Conference of French Chairmanship in the “Group of Twenty” and of the Committee for a new “Bretton-Woods”, the Annual Meeting of Donors as well as a number of events of non-governmental organizations (NGO) and civil society, Mass Media.

In general the participation of the EBRD in the economy of Kazakhstan is quite sufficient. The bank has undertaken the obligation to invest 2.8 billion EURO to finance projects within various sectors of the economy of the Republic, which has allowed mobilizing additional investments for the amount of more than 7 billion EURO. By this, in the result of economic cooperation the Bank invested into the economy of the Republic more than 5 billion USD. Considering additional funds, attracted from the partners of the EBRD, these investments reached more than 14 billion USD. From them, about 6,5 billion USD were given to the infrastructure projects, 3 billion USD for the bank sector, including 400 millions for the development of small and medium business. About 2 billion USD were invested into the projects of energy and natural resources, and more than 2,5 billion into the industry and agriculture.

Kazakhstan, as experts assure, was chosen as the dialogue arena not accidently. After the crisis trust between European and Asian partners has weakened. And that is why Astana is called to become the junction point of two worlds, West and East. The thesis is popular in the world, that this is the way for the rehabilitation of the Great Silk Road.

Assurance of food security in Central-Asian region was also discussed within the frameworks of the Forum held. The greatest agrarian economists were engaged with the role of Kazakhstan in this issue. As the General Director of the Food Agricultural Organization of the UNO Jacques Diouf, Kazakhstan today plays a very significant role within global agricultural system.

Richard Schenz, Vice President of Federal Economic Chamber of Austria also underlined the special role of the country during his address at the Astana Economic Forum.

He noted that Kazakhstan has all prerequisites to become economic leader in Central-Asian region. He also specified that today Europe and Asia cooperate pretty closely. There is great potential within these relations. Having become a kind of Eurasian bridge the country shall only reinforce international economic potential.

According to the Vice-President Schenz, it is urgent to ease the access to the country – to introduce additional transport corridors, to relax visa regime, extend infrastructure. The exchange of views and knowledge is the main goal of the Astana Economic Forum, the organizers note. For Kazakhstan this Forum is not only project of image. For example, the previous meeting of economists and businessmen has attracted 1,5 billion USD of direct investments into the economy of the state.
World media monitoring