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Kazakhstan is top target for foreign investment in post-Soviet countries

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has released its report on global investments for the year 2022. The net inflow of foreign direct investment (FDI) to Kazakhstan amounted to $6.1 billion, the highest figure in the past five years and 83% higher than in 2021. It surpasses the level achieved by any other post-Soviet country, writes Political Editor Nick Powell.

In terms of net foreign direct investment, Kazakhstan holds the first place in the post-Soviet space, attracting $6.1bn last year. Three other countries achieved at least $2bn in net FDI, Uzbekistan with $2.5bn, Lithuania with $2.2bn and Georgia with $2bn. The worst negative ranking was for Russia, with a net withdrawal of foreign investment amounting to -$18.7bn.

Central Asia as a whole is increasingly attractive to foreign investors, with the net FDI inflow to the region up by 39% and totalling $10bn, with Kazakhstan accounting for 61% of that. Additionally, Kazakhstan ranks fifth among all developing economies in terms of attracting net investments in renewable energy projects between during 2015 and 2022, with a total of $56.3bn.

Overall, the report’s results show that global net FDI flows decreased by 12% in 2022 to $1.3 trillion, following significant growth in 2021. The main reasons for this decline are the conflict in Ukraine, high food and energy prices, and increasing government debt in countries worldwide.


The decline primarily affected developed countries, where net FDI inflows decreased by 37% to $378bn. Meanwhile, flows to developing countries increased on average by 4%.

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) is the main body of the United Nations General Assembly in the field of trade and investment. It was established in 1964 and is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. Within the UN system, UNCTAD serves as a coordinating centre for development issues and related topics in trade, finance, technology, investment, and sustainable development. Its main tasks include promoting global economic development through the development of recommendations, principles, organisational and legal conditions, and mechanisms for the functioning of modern international economic relations. The organisation conducts research and policy analysis, intergovernmental meetings, technical cooperation, and interaction with civil society and the business sector.

You can read the full report here.


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