World Monitor Magazine, Business and Investments WM_march 2019_web - Page 34

INVEST TO KAZAKHSTAN to infrastructure and land, joint work with the National Bank on currency regulation, work over the improvement of immigration and visa legislation, and strengthening of institutions for working with investors. This set of measures will significantly improve the work with investors and create new special conditions. How are you going to build work with investors, including the work of the embassies? How will investments be attracted? EK: We have already analyzed and identified about 3,000 companies that would be interested to work in our country. Further, the mechanism is as follows: we aim our embassies abroad at building the first contact with companies and conduct explanatory work, to provide primary materials about the conditions for doing business in Kazakhstan. Subsequently, the arrival of these companies in Kazakhstan is implied, and here we will hold meetings at all levels. Further, we organize separate working groups for companies that have shown interest in the following areas: industrialization, the ‘economy of simple things’, infrastructure, agricultural production, including the food industry. Separately, digitalization and new technologies, energy, petrochemistry, privatization, together with the AIFC portfolio investments, as well as tourism. On behalf of the GG, we create a complex ecosystem, where we paint an algorithm of actions, and specific regulations for all interested bodies, the MFA of RK operates at the external level, all government bodies at the central level, these are national companies, and also regional administrations. We have one task – to find a new layer of investors. What projects are now at work? What are the most significant of them you can highlight? 32 world monitor EK: We understand that, in general, the investor comes not only to Astana and Almaty, but also to all regions. We are currently working on 157 projects totaling at about $ 40 billion. The significant part of them falls on Karaganda region, after Almaty. Also in the top five are Kostanay, Zhambyl and the city of Astana. It should be noted that Astana plays an important role in the economy of the country. In general, the city has great prospects to become a key global city of the Eurasian macro- region. In recent years there were a solid number of international events that have been held in the capital. These successful events, as well as the growth dynamics of the capital, show that investors are interested and they want not only work, but also live in Astana. Attracting investments – one of the key priorities of the city. Mr. Abdykadyrov, obviously invest- ments are important for any coun- try and city. Can you, kindly, share what is being implemented for at- tracting investments into Astana? What are the capital’s perspectives in this regard? AA: Investment is important for the city. Especially, considering the fact that the capital is growing rapidly. For 20 years, the population has increased by more than three times, now Astana is a million-plus city. By 2030, growth is expected to two million. An interesting observation: in terms of population growth, Astana is second only to cities in China. The capital is becoming more attractive for investments – last year over one trillion tenge was attracted to fixed assets. Over the past five years, foreign (outbound) investments have increased by ten times, the number of foreign companies has increased by more than twice. The city is changing and is on its way to transformation into a ‘global city’. And a vivid example of this was the entry of Astana into the list of global cities, compiled by the English research centre Globalisation and World Cities Research Network, which studies global cities. This ranking includes 375 cities with the largest role in the global economy, such as New York, Tokyo, London, Hong Kong, Beijing, Dubai. Today, urbanization is an irreversible trend, and according to the UN forecast, by 2050 more than 70% of humanity will live in cities. Global cities are centers of activity. They become anchors for entire macro-regions, not only for their countries. For example, Dubai for the Middle East, Singapore for Southeast Asia. These are centres for innovation, finance, health, education, commerce and tourism. Global and smart cities do not arise by themselves. The urban economy is transforming after the transformation of the urban environment. What do we see in the most developed, comfortable and intelligent cities? A changing regulatory environment, lack of administrative barriers, new land use standards and much more. That is, the investor comes to the territory and may be free to choose the site in which he invests. The head of state set the task of transforming Astana into a global city that will become the main centre of attraction for creative people, talents, youth, as well as tourists and foreign investors. With this purpose in mind we are now introducing completely new approaches to the development of the urban system, making it more comfortable and safe. We change approaches in interaction with investors, motivating the growth of interest. We have begun the