Investing in Kazakhstan: A Comprehensive Guide for Foreign Investors

Whether you are an experienced investor or just starting out, you may want to get an idea about investing in Kazakhstan and learn the advantages.

In this detailed article, we will tell you about the most important things to consider when investing in Kazakhstan, such as the country’s economy and politics, its most promising industries, and its legal and regulatory system.

Investing in Kazakhstan

Introduction

Investing in emerging markets has always been a compelling opportunity for adventurous investors looking for high-potential returns. A country that is rapidly gaining momentum in the investment world is Kazakhstan.

Located at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, this Central Asian country has been taking impressive steps in terms of economic development and modernization in the last decade. With its rich natural resources, strategic location and favorable investment policies, Kazakhstan is attracting increasing attention from foreign investors who want to seize promising opportunities.

In this article, we will take an in-depth look at investing in Kazakhstan, exploring the economic and political environment, the most promising sectors, the legal and regulatory framework, and the benefits and challenges of doing business in this country. 

Whether you’re an experienced investor or a newcomer to the world of investing, this guide will provide you with valuable information and practical tips to help you navigate Kazakhstan’s investment landscape and make informed decisions about where to put your money. Lets start!

Political Stability and Investment in Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan’s political stability has long been attractive to foreign investors seeking a safe haven in the region. Because Kazakhstan has a strong, centralized government and a history of peaceful transitions of power, it has managed to maintain a stable political environment despite problems in neighboring countries. This political stability has been an important part of the country’s rapid economic growth, which has helped it become the largest economy in Central Asia.

Kazakhstan remains a relatively stable and business-friendly environment for foreign investors, thanks in part to favorable investment policies and efforts to attract foreign capital. The government has introduced several initiatives to create a more investor-friendly environment, including the establishment of Special Economic Zones and the creation of the Astana International Financial Center (AIFC), a financial center that aims to become a leading center for finance and investment in Central Asia.

In short, although political stability can never be guaranteed, Kazakhstan’s relatively stable political environment, combined with its favorable investment climate, makes it an attractive destination for foreign investors looking to take advantage of opportunities in this fast-growing economy.

Foreign Direct Investment in Kazakhstan

Foreign direct investment (FDI) in Kazakhstan has been on the rise for many years, with the stock of foreign direct investment increasing from US$93.4 billion in 1993 to US$166.4 billion as of January 1, 2021.

The Netherlands is the largest foreign investor in Kazakhstan, with an investment of $33.8 billion, followed by the United Kingdom with $14.5 billion.

Over the last five years, the majority of FDI went to the industrial sector (US$63.2 billion), followed by services (US$42.2 billion) and agriculture (US$18.6 billion).

There was also an increase in real estate investments, and a total of 13.3 billion US dollars were invested in the first six months of 2022.

There are many options for those who want to invest in Kazakhstan, from investing in special economic zones to obtaining residence permits and visas for investors and taking advantage of financing opportunities in the country.


Infograph for Foreign direct investment (FDI) in Kazakhstan from 1993 to 1 quarter 2020

Investment Types in Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan’s investment opportunities are diversified and attractive. Kazakhstan has implemented an open investment policy that welcomes both FDI and domestic investment.

The Kazakhstan 2050 strategy outlines the country’s long-term economic strategy that encourages investments in agriculture, industry, services and real estate sectors.

Additionally, the country has a special economic zone system that offers incentives for oil-related investments.

investment opportunities in Kazakhstan

The country’s legislation provides for four different types of investment contracts, and a residence permit or visa is available for investors.

Kazakhstan is a good place to invest money because its government is stable and there are many different opportunities for investors.

Agricultural Investment in Kazakhstan

The government of Kazakhstan has prioritized agricultural investment since the country’s independence in 1991. In the last 17 years, 202 partnerships have been established, bringing together approximately 20,000 agricultural producers in the last 17 years. 

Agriculture is one of the largest employers in Kazakhstan, employing more than 30% of the workforce. The government has provided a state grant to encourage investment and development in this sector. 

The EBRD has also launched cross-regional B2B initiatives to support regional trade in textiles and agricultural products. In general, there are many opportunities for those who want to invest in agricultural projects in Kazakhstan, from small-scale farmers to large businesses.

Industrial Investment in Kazakhstan

Industrial investment in Kazakhstan was welcomed with great enthusiasm by foreign investors. Its large and growing consumer market and location between Europe and Asia make it a good place for businesses to invest. 

The Kazakh government has provided incentives and tax breaks to encourage foreign investment in the industrial sector. The country also has a highly skilled workforce and a low cost of living. Additionally, Kazakhstan offers access to energy resources, transportation networks and modern infrastructure. 

With its strong commitment to sustainable development and diversification of the economy, Kazakhstan has opened many opportunities for industrial investors to benefit from.

Service Sector Investment in Kazakhstan

The service sector in Kazakhstan is an area with great potential for investors with a wide range of opportunities. The country has seen an increase in both domestic and international tourism and the government has implemented various initiatives and reforms to further develop the sector.

Additionally, a number of tax incentives have been implemented to attract foreign investors. These include zero corporate tax on profits from certain services, such as software development and IT services. Additionally, there are no restrictions on foreign ownership in the service sector. Therefore, the sector offers many attractive investment opportunities for those who want to benefit from Kazakhstan’s growing economy.

Real Estate Investment in Kazakhstan

Investing in real estate in Kazakhstan is becoming increasingly attractive for many investors due to the country’s rapidly growing economy. 

The government has implemented a number of policies designed to encourage investment in the real estate sector, such as tax incentives and special economic zones. Investors can take advantage of a variety of real estate opportunities, including both residential and commercial properties.

Additionally, Kazakhstan has many attractive residence permits for investors and visa options for those who wish to stay for a long time. With its stable political environment and strong economic growth, Kazakhstan is an ideal destination for investors looking for profitable real estate investments.

Renewable Energy Investment in Kazakhstan

Potential of renewable energy in the Republic of Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan has seen significant investments in the renewable energy sector since 2014, with 780 billion tenge (US$1.8 billion) invested in the development of renewable energy sources. Eurasian Development Bank increases growth day by day by investing in Kazakhstan’s renewable energy resources.

To achieve these ambitious goals, Kazakhstan attaches great importance to developing its renewable energy sector and plans to implement renewable energy projects as a way to stimulate economic growth. Currently, 134 renewable energy power plants with a total capacity of 2010 MW are operating in Kazakhstan, of which 280 MW are hydroelectric power plants (HEPPs), 684 MW are wind power plants (RES) and solar power plants (SPPs).

Investors looking to develop RE projects can access step-by-step guidance provided by the government.

Oil Related Investment in Kazakhstan

foreign investment in kazakhstan

Foreign investors show great interest in oil-related investments in Kazakhstan. This is because the country has some of the largest oil and gas reserves in the world.

Investors who want to benefit from this sector can benefit from the free entry model that provides access to the region’s extensive resources.

The Kazakh government has also taken steps to provide a stable investment environment and fulfill its commitments to investors, making it an attractive option for those who want to invest in the oil and gas sector.

Additionally, the availability of ethane from Caspian Sea reserves has increased the attractiveness of Kazakhstan’s petrochemical industry for foreign investors.

Those looking to invest in the oil and gas industry will find it attractive due to a variety of incentives, including tax breaks and special economic zones.

Kazakhstan Business and Investment Opportunities

  1. Kazakhstan has a favorable investment environment due to political and macroeconomic stability as well as government support for entrepreneurship.
  2. Investors can access a variety of services through Kazakh Invest, a single point of contact for all existing and potential investors.
  3. Sectors such as ferrous and non-ferrous metallurgy, petrochemicals, machinery manufacturing and construction materials production offer great investment opportunities.
  4. Astana, Kazakhstan, is an ideal destination for investors looking to start a business in the sporting goods industry.
  5. Businesses can benefit from a variety of incentives, such as tax exemptions, access to funds, and training programs from the Government of Kazakhstan.
  6. The country is home to some of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs and offers extensive networking opportunities with potential partners or investors.
  7. The country also offers access to a well-educated workforce with low unemployment rates, making it an attractive destination for businesses looking to hire skilled labor at competitive prices.

Taxation and Business Registration

Investors in Kazakhstan need to know the rules regarding taxes and starting a business to protect their money. The standard corporate tax (CIT) rate in Kazakhstan is 20%.

This applies to legal entities in Kazakhstan and non-resident persons doing business in Kazakhstan through a permanent establishment. Additionally, investors must register their businesses with the correct authorities to obtain the licenses and permits they need to operate their businesses.

Some types of businesses may need to obtain more licenses or register with bodies that regulate their industry. Investors should also make sure they meet their tax obligations, such as filing an annual tax return and paying taxes on time, to avoid penalties.

Special Economic Zones of Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan has 13 special economic zones across the country, each focused on a different sector. The government of Kazakhstan is making efforts to diversify its economy, and special economic zones offer investors the opportunity to benefit from favorable tax rates and regulatory conditions.

Below is the list of 13 Special Economic Zones in Kazakhstan:

  1. Aktau Seaport SEZ
  2. Atyrau-Zhanaozen SEZ
  3. Ontustic SEZ
  4. Saryarka SEZ
  5. Khorgos-East Gate SEZ
  6. Pavlodar SEZ
  7. National Industrial Petrochemical Technology Park SEZ
  8. “Park of Innovative Technologies” SEZ
  9. “Astana-New City” SEZ
  10. “Burabay” SEZ
  11. “Taraz” SEZ
  12. “Alatau” IT Park SEZ
  13. “Khorgos-Eastern Gates” Tourism and Recreation Park SEZ

Contact with the State Investment Office

You can contact the Kazakhstan investment office using the information below:

Email address: [email protected]

Phone number:

Address: 6, Kunaev str., 010000 Astana, Republic of Kazakhstan.

Abdullah Habib
Abdullah Habib

Merhaba! I'm Abdullah Habib. In this article, I share the essence of my 7-year journey in Turkey - as an expat and foreign student. With a heart full of stories and a mind rich with insights from my experiences, I've written this piece just for you. So, without further ado, sit back, relax, and enjoy the read!

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