Zhandos Temirgali, Deputy Chairman of the Board of Kazakhstan’s KAZAKH INVEST National Company, said that Azerbaijani companies have invested approximately $310 million in Kazakhstan’s economy since 2005. Flow.
Temirgali added that despite the COVID-19 pandemic, foreign investors still show great interest in Kazakhstan, the largest economy in Central Asia.
“It was possible to observe a good upward trend in foreign direct investments. [in Kazakhstan] By 2021,” said the vice chairman of the board of directors. “Overall, we were able to reverse the negative trajectory of 2020 and increase the volume of investment.”
Foreign direct investment in Kazakhstan reached about $18.7 billion in the first nine months of 2021, 50 percent more than in the same period in 2020, the vice president said.
“Overall, there are plans to overcome the negative trend of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2022-2023 and reach the good indicators that were in 2017-2019, when the volume of foreign direct investment exceeded $20 billion annually,” Temirgali said. Said.
The vice president added that 57 projects were implemented in Kazakhstan in 2021 with the support of KAZAKH INVEST, a national operator that supports investment activities.
“These are new industrial establishments that started operating, investments in these enterprises reached approximately $3.8 billion, which is 2.4 times more than in 2020,” said Temirgali. “Also, about 5,000 jobs have been created, which is an important indicator for us.”
The vice president said that the USA, Switzerland and the Netherlands are still the main investors in Kazakhstan’s economy.
Temirgali emphasized that as of 2020, unlike many countries, there has not been a great decrease in GDP in Kazakhstan, as in Azerbaijan.
Commenting on the areas where foreign direct investments were made compared to the pre-COVID-19 pandemic period, the Vice President added that the largest share of investments came from the mining sector of Kazakhstan, as before.
“In general, the structure of the Kazakhstan economy is similar to the structure of the Azerbaijani economy, and of course, the largest share of investments belongs to the mining sector,” said Temirgali.
The Vice President said that after the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic period, the structure of investments or the nature of investment inflows into the economy has not changed drastically and radically.
“But there is a general trend towards increasing the share of processing plants,” said Temirgali. Globally, we have seen increasing interest from foreign investors in the processing sector in the last few years, especially in the food industry, petrochemical industry, chemical industry, engineering industry and so on.”
The vice president said that overall the country clearly understands the need to diversify the economy and that this trend, which was outlined even before the COVID-19 pandemic, continues.
Talking about potential areas of development of bilateral cooperation between Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan, Temirgali highlighted the transport sector.
“Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan are conveniently located and the countries bordering the Caspian, also these are sister countries,” said the Vice-President. “Trade turnover is growing dynamically. By 2021 it had reached about a third of $1 billion, three times what it was in 2020. It is clear that there is a big drop in 2020, but still this figure is much larger than in 2018 and 2019. Therefore. , the positive trend is clear.”
Temirgali emphasized that foreign investors see the Central Asian and Southern Caucasus markets as a single region and that it is very important for the region as a whole to be attractive for investments when making investment decisions.
“The connecting link in the transport sector is the New Silk Road project of the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route, which connects countries such as Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Georgia and European countries, and connects China and the EU globally,” said the Vice President.
Temirgali added that this is a very promising path, and looking at the statistics, it is possible to see a very positive trend between turbulence in global politics and instability due to other alternative routes.
The vice president said that 4.4 million tons of cargo, approximately 96,300 containers, has been transported since the opening of the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route.
“Overall, the dynamics of road transport along the China-EU route and the volume of transit transport through Kazakhstan in 2021 exceeded one million TEU containers, which is 22 percent more than in 2021,” Temirgali said. Said.
The vice president also emphasized that thanks to the development of modern technologies, including digital ones, multimodal routes have become cheaper.
“They are getting cheaper and more cargo is being sent from Asia to Europe and then to other countries by road from our region, not by sea,” Temirgali said. “Our Turkish route through the Caspian Sea becomes more valuable in this global transport of goods.”
The Vice President said that, firstly, transportation costs have decreased, and secondly, this route seems stable given the various political situations, trade wars and sanctions on a global scale.
“Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan are the countries that form the core of this route,” said Temirgali. Our cooperation is very important and we see great hope in this regard.”
Judging from Kazakhstan’s statistics, the vice president said that Azerbaijani companies have invested about $310 million in Kazakhstan’s economy since 2005.
“Of course, we saw a decline in investment activity during the COVID-19 pandemic, but there is a positive trend at the moment,” Temirgali said. Said. The investment partnership between Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan reaches a new level. There are approximately 500 companies with Azerbaijan capital operating in our country. These companies operate in construction, processing, trade, logistics and many other sectors.”
The vice president also announced the main joint projects of Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan.
“These include a grain terminal at the port of Aktau, a joint venture between Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan to receive and transfer Kazakh grain, a logistics center at Aktau Sea Port, and a plant for the production of fittings,” Temirgali said. Said.
The vice president also stressed that the Kazakh government has developed a new investment policy concept that will meet the current challenges, and that the international investment community as a whole has some expectations regarding the reforms carried out in Kazakhstan.
Temirgali emphasized that the concept of investment policy, which is being developed in general, covers all aspects of this issue.
“This includes the process of attracting new investments, working with existing investors, legislation, etc. “I would like to emphasize that this document will consider environmental, social and governance (ESG) principles.”
The vice president said that this means that the country is addressing these processes through the creation of eco-friendly facilities in Kazakhstan and a solution to environmental problems as well as social responsibility.
“This is very important,” Temirgali added. “First of all, this is the creation of high-quality jobs with fair wages, secondly, these are secure jobs at all sites and of course the need for continuous improvement of the skills of local staff.”
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