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In this page: FDI in Figures | Why You Should Choose to Invest in Kazakhstan | Procedures Relative to Foreign Investment | Investment Opportunities


FDI in Figures

In a context where global foreign investment increased by 10.9% in 2013, in particular in Europe (+25.2%) and in Latin America (+17.5%), FDI flows to developing economies reached a new high of US$759 billion. However macroeconomic fragility and policy uncertainties are driving investors to caution.

Starting from its independence, Kazakhstan adopted a series of reforms to benefit the liberalization of economy and make the country more accessible to foreign investment. The decade of 1999-2009 witnessed the figures of FDI multiplying ten times, increasing from USD 1.852 billion to USD 18.429 billion. This had a dynamic effect on the production of oil and gas.

Although Kazakhstan prefers national investors at the expense of foreign ones, FDI continue to flow in. In 2013 FDI reached USD 14 billion (over 13 billion in 2012). The main investors are the Netherlands, the USA, France, Great Britain and China.

The oil and mining sectors are still the most attractive since they concentrate more than half of the FDI. During the last decade, this "locomotive" of post-Soviet Central Asia has in fact tripled its oil production and became the world's second largest exporter of crude oil, after Russia.

Information on the 2013 FDI influx in this region can be accessed in the Global Investment Trade Monitor published in January 2014 by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).


Country Comparison For the Protection of Investors

  Kazakhstan Eastern Europe & Central Asia United States Germany
Index of Transaction Transparency* 9.0 7.0 7.0 5.0
Index of Manager’s Responsibility** 6.0 5.0 9.0 5.0
Index of Shareholders’ Power*** 6.0 9.0 5.0
Index of Investor Protection**** 8.0 5.9 8.3 5.0

Source: Doing Business - Last Available Data.

Note: *The Greater the Index, the More Transparent the Conditions of Transactions. **The Greater the Index, the More the Manager is Personally Responsible. *** The Greater the Index, the Easier it Will Be For Shareholders to Take Legal Action. **** The Greater the Index, the Higher the Level of Investor Protection.

Foreign Direct Investment 201120122013
FDI Inward Flow (million USD) 13,76013,7859,739
FDI Stock (million USD) 112,458125,672129,554
Performance Index*, Ranking on 181 Economies 7--
Potential Index**, Ranking on 177 Economies 33--
Number of Greenfield Investments*** 502829
FDI Inwards (in % of GFCF****) 35.032.621.2
FDI Stock (in % of GDP) 59.862.058.8

Source: UNCTAD - Last Available Data.

Note: * The UNCTAD Inward FDI Performance Index is Based on a Ratio of the Country's Share in Global FDI Inflows and its Share in Global GDP. ** The UNCTAD Inward FDI Potential Index is Based on 12 Economic and Structural Variables Such as GDP, Foreign Trade, FDI, Infrastructures, Energy Use, R&D, Education, Country Risk. *** Green Field Investments Are a Form of Foreign Direct Investment Where a Parent Company Starts a New Venture in a Foreign Country By Constructing New Operational Facilities From the Ground Up. **** Gross Fixed Capital Formation (GFCF) Measures the Value of Additions to Fixed Assets Purchased By Business, Government and Households Less Disposals of Fixed Assets Sold Off or Scrapped.

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Why You Should Choose to Invest in Kazakhstan

Strong Points
Kazakhstan needs to diversify its economy in order to reinforce its growth. It has to attract foreign investors in order to modernize the existing infrastructures, and to create new ones. The economic situation is relatively good, despite a financial sector affected by the financial crisis. Kazakhstan has a strong economic potential, a quality banking system, and remarkable political stability, since its independence.
Weak Points
Heavy constraints weaken Kazakhstan's economic potential. These are: its landlocked status, its obsolete economic structures and also a an economy which is still not diversified enough. The oil windfall has impeded the structural reforms. Corruption is a negative factor, since Kazakhstan is ranked 145th out of 180 according to Transparency International.
Government Measures to Motivate or Restrict FDI
Government policy has been encouraging foreign investment for nearly fifteen years (thanks to the December 1994 and February 1997 laws ) with measures such as reduction and even waiver of taxes for 5 years, a State subsidy, partial or total exemption from duties and taxes on equipment, raw materials and other material necessary for the establishment of the investment. The Investment Code of January 2003 guarantees equality between foreign and local investors, protection of the investors' rights and arbitration for disputes. In practice, there are stability guarantee clauses, guarantees against nationalization or expropriation and the right to repatriation of profits. The Kazinvest agency (website in Kazakh language) plays a major role for the foreign investors who must present their project there.

A new law aimed at bringing about significant improvements to Kazakhstan’s overall investment climate became effective on 24 June 2014 and will apply as from 1 January 2015. The law introduces preferential treatment for investors involved in “priority investment projects”.

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Procedures Relative to Foreign Investment

Freedom of Establishment
Consult the foreign investment laws on the website Kazinvest (in Russian).
Acquisition of Holdings
The acquisition of the majority shareholding of a Kazakh company is authorised under reserve of obtaining an authorization beforehand from Ministry of Justice.
Obligation to Declare
The Kazakhstan Investment Promotion Center in the country imparts information on the authorizations necessary for company establishment.
Competent Organization For the Declaration
Requests For Specific Authorizations

Learn more about Foreign Investment in Kazakhstan on, the Directory for International Trade Service Providers.

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Investment Opportunities

Investment Aid Agency
The Foreign Investment Council of the Ministry of Industry and Commerce of the Republic of Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan Development Bank
Kazyna Development Fund
Kazakhstan Investment Fund
Kazinvest (Kazakhstan Investment Promotion Centre)
National Investment Funds
Tenders, Projects and Public Procurement
Tenders Info, Tenders in Kazakhstan
Globaltenders, Tenders & Projects from Kazakhstan
Asian Development Bank, Proposed Projects in Asia
DgMarket, Tenders Worldwide
Other Useful Resources
Investment Fund
Center for Promotion of Investments
Department for Companies and Industries of the Karaganda region.
"Company creation" department on the website of the Uralsk city.
Department for Companies and Industries of the Kostanay region.
Department for Companies and Industries of the Atyrau region.
Business and Industry Department of the Pavlodar region
Business and Industries Department of the Almaty region
Department for Companies and Industries of the North-West region of Kazakhstan (in Russian).
Department for Companies and Industries of the Eastern Kazakhstan region.
Department for Companies and Industries of the South Kazakhstan region.
Entrepreneurship and industries in the Akmo region
Department for Companies and Industries of the Aktioubinsk region (in Russian)
Department for Companies and Industries of the Qyzylorda region.

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Learn more about Investing in Kazakhstan on, the Directory for International Trade Service Providers.

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Last Updates: January 2015