Kazakhstan is undergoing systemic transformations for a stronger and more diversified economy, and is looking for financial and economic cooperation with other countries, Kazakh President Jomart Tokayev said on Monday. Making the remarks at the 46th annual meetings of the Association of Development Financing Institutions in Asia and the Pacific, or the ADFIAP, in Almaty, Tokayev said that the country’s vast potential lies in sectors such as agriculture, petrochemistry, metallurgy, manufacturing, textile industries, transport, logistics, finance and tourism.
“Our investment policy is continuously evolving to ensure that Kazakhstan remains the most attractive investment destination in Central Asia,” he said.
Last year, Kazakhstan managed to move $28 billion in foreign direct investment, a record high over a decade.
Tokayev said the ADFIAP will prompt investment cooperation across Asia and the Pacific and promote investment cooperation among Kazakhstan and its partners from the region.
The forum of investors from 40 countries lasted 2 days. Hosted by Eurasian Development Bank, the ADFIAP attracted over 240 delegates from major banks; investment funds; and development institutions from China, Turkiye, Japan, India, the European Union, the United States and other countries and regions.
Focus on development in transportation, communications, energy and digitalization
Mominul Islam, ADFIAP vice-chairman and CEO at IPDC Finance in Bangladesh, said the organization together with its annual meetings serve as a platform for discussing new joint projects aimed at achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals and those outlined in the Paris Climate Agreement.
Nikolai Podguzov, chairman of the Eurasian Development Bank management board, said this year’s forum agenda focuses on the role of national and international development in transportation, communications, energy and digitalization.
“The lack of access to the sea constrains the trade and economic potential of Central Asia. Due to high transportation costs, the GDP of landlocked countries is growing on average 20 percent slower than it could,” said Podguzov. He called on global businesses to step up concerted action to mitigate these risks.
To address this issue, the EDB chairman proposed an expansion of the region’s transport infrastructure in all directions. “New rail routes and container traffic could foster more effective integration into global supply chains and reduce transport costs. For this reason, Central Asia still needs foreign investment in this sector,” he added.
Yerbolat Dosayev, mayor of Almaty, emphasized how the vector of global activity has indeed shifted to Asia, creating new development prospects.
“Today, with EDB co-financing, we are implementing large-scale projects in Almaty such as the conversion of CHPP-2 to gas, the expansion of Almaty International Airport and the Big Almaty Ring Road. Investment in these projects totals $ 2.2 billion,” he said.
Dosayev also highlighted Almaty’s significance as the cultural, research, business and financial hub of Kazakhstan, contributing nearly a fifth of the country’s GDP (18.5% in 2022) and more than a quarter of its tax revenues. The city is home to 90% of the country’s bank headquarters and 111 offices of international organizations and businesses.
“Our main mission is to make Almaty a comfortable and safe city by attracting talent, technology and investment from around the world. We particularly focus on green projects and initiatives such as the modernization of transport, energy-efficient housing and the upgrade of utilities,” he added and expressed confidence in fostering “further cooperation and implementation of such projects”.