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Major poll highlights growing investor confidence in Kazakhstan

Over two-thirds (53%) of Western business leaders consider Kazakhstan an attractive investment destination because of recent political reforms. A major YouGov poll by Colin Stevens highlights this positive sentiment. writes Colin Stevens.

The President Kassym Jomart Tokayev’s ongoing reforms have boosted investor confidence in “New Kazakhstan” 16 November 2022. A new YouGov survey revealed that two-thirds (65%) of Western business leaders believe the Constitutional Reforms implemented recently by the President of Kazakhstan have made it a more attractive place to invest.

A majority of European and American business leaders praised the reforms, with 69% stating that they were good for the country. The country is located at an important economic crossroads in the middle of Eurasia.

According to the study, 77% of respondents believed that reforms would improve democracy in their country. The benefits of the reform program were more favorable to German and British business leaders than those from the US.

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Europe is Kazakhstan’s largest trading partner. More than 4,000 European-connected companies are currently operating in Kazakhstan. The latest companies to open operations in Kazakhstan are UK and Global businesses, which include satellite company OneWeb, in which the UK government holds a stake, and Honeywell, a US technology group.

350 business owners/directors from Germany, the UK, and the USA participated in the survey between the 9th and 11th of November 2022. The companies had annual revenues exceeding PS250m.

It was conducted for The Chamber of International Commerce of Kazakhstan. It found that 82% of senior business leaders believed President Tokayev prioritised the right issues for reform while 64% thought he was serious about improving human rights. This belief was strong among US business leaders. 72% believed that the Kazakh president was focused on human rights.


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According to President Tokayev, the constitutional reforms were approved by 77% in a June national referendum. This is just the beginning of a long-term trend that will usher in a “New Kazakhstan”.

Recognizance of constitutional reforms that address inequalities, driving investor appeal

In his efforts to reduce inequality, President Tokayev introduced measures to empower women and launched compulsory health insurance. He also increased child benefit payments. Tokayev’s latest reforms include a promise to protect human rights and restore a Constitutional Court.

Kazakhstan is the richest and largest of the five Central Asian republics to gain independence. It is approximately the same size as Western Europe. It has 72 natural resources and the largest oil reserves. Two-thirds (67%) of the business leaders surveyed believe Kazakhstan’s energy supply could be an important part in solving the global oil crisis.

The latest YouGov survey highlights Kazakhstan’s growing appeal to foreign investors and business. Leading consultants, global investors and markets, as well as think tanks, have recognized Kazakhstan’s weak trade and potential.

According to the Kazakh Bureau of National Statistics (KBS), foreign trade increased by 41% to $51billion in the first five month of 2022. Trade with the UK was $1.8billion, an increase of 66% over the first seven months of 2018.

In the second quarter of 2010, foreign direct investment in Kazakhstan hit $7.58 billion. Leading institutional investors such as Citi, Goldman Sachs, and Franklin Templeton have met with the Kazakhstani leadership to discuss potential opportunities.

As Kazakhstan embarks on major privatisation programmes, the London Stock Exchange promotes Kazakhstan’s economic prospects. Several key businesses, including Air Astana in which Bae Systems has a 49% share, are preparing to float.

In partnership with Samruk-Kazyna, the exchange hosted its second Annual Kazakhstan Investment Forum. EY consultants published a separate report this month entitled “With the global economy at a crossroads,” which asked Central Asia’s direction. – President Tokayev’s “New Kazakhstan” development plan for restructuring the economy.

The report highlights key priorities of the plan, which include increasing economic growth and inclusion, developing the private and public sectors, and reducing corruption.

In its recent report, Is it now the right time to invest Kazakhstan?, the Chamber quotes several investors who highlight the country’s potential.

Franklin Templeton’s Marius Dan, Franklin Templeton said that it was an exciting opportunity to invest in Kazakhstan due to its economic stability, abundant natural resource, strong commodity market fundamentals, and the political-economic reforms of President Tokayev.

Roland Nash, VPE Capital said that Kazakhstan has enormous potential due to international trade. Because of its unique geographic position, it is well-positioned to benefit from the rising China/Asian trade as well as the rapid growing European demand for vital commodities Kazakhstan produces.

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