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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

2013 Investment Climate Statement - Kazakhstan


2013 Investment Climate Statement
Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs
February 2013
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Openness to, and restrictions upon, Foreign Investment

Kazakhstan has made significant progress toward the creation of a market economy since it gained independence in 1991, and the European Union (2000) and the U.S. Department of Commerce (March 2002) have granted it market economy status. Kazakhstan also has attracted significant foreign investment since independence. As of September 30 2012, foreign investors had placed a total of $177.7 billion in Kazakhstan, primarily in the oil and gas sector. Kazakhstan is widely considered to have the best investment climate in the region. Numerous international firms have established regional headquarters in Kazakhstan.

The government's Program for Accelerated Industrial Development, part of its “Road Map for Business 2020,” created investment priorities aimed at diversifying Kazakhstan's economy away from an overdependence on extractive industries. The government of Kazakhstan adopted a "National Plan for Attracting Investment" in December 2011 which seeks to improve the investment climate by simplifying visa procedures, customs clearance, and transit across borders, as well as establishing special service centers for foreign investors under regional municipal authorities. In 2012, every regional government set up an Investors’ Service Center.

In 2011, Kazakhstan announced the goal of joining the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). To meet OECD requirements, the government will need to amend its investment legislation.

Kazakhstan submitted its Memorandum on the Foreign Trade Regime (MFTR) to the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 1996 and the first round of consultations on accession took place in 1997. Kazakhstan has made significant progress in implementing the legal framework necessary for WTO accession and has signed bilateral protocols on market access for goods and services with the bulk of working party members. Multiparty talks have been more contentious with difficult negotiations centering on agricultural subsidies, sanitary and phytosanitary standards, local content requirements, export duties on petroleum, and enforcing intellectual property rights for pharmaceuticals. Despite domestic opposition to compromising on these issues, the government has vowed to satisfy working party concerns by the middle of 2013 in order to accede to the WTO by the end of the year.

Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan officially entered into a Customs Union on July 1, 2010. As a condition of membership, Kazakhstan has almost doubled its average import tariff and introduced annual tariff-rate quotas (TRQs) on poultry, beef, and pork. U.S. exporters have raised concerns about the possible trade-limiting effects of these TRQs, as well as the way TRQs are calculated and distributed. According to the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade, Kazakhstan will slightly increase tariff rate quotas in 2013.

On January 1, 2012, the Customs Union partners created the Common Economic Space (CES) which is intended to be a step toward further economic integration. While many agreements for the Common Economic Space are still being negotiated, the first 17 came into force in 2012. The government of Kazakhstan has asserted that CES agreements comply with WTO standards. If CES agreements are not WTO compliant, however, WTO commitments supersede CES rules.

The following acts of legislation impact foreign investment in Kazakhstan: 1) the 2003 Law on Investments; 2) the 2003 Customs Code and the Customs Code of the Customs Union, which came into force in July 2010; 3) the Tax Code; 4) the Law on Currency Regulation and Currency control; and 5) the Law on Government Procurement. These laws provide for non-expropriation, currency convertibility, guarantees of legal stability, transparent government procurement, and incentives for priority sectors. Inconsistent implementation of these laws and regulations at all levels of the government, combined with a tendency for courts to automatically accept government positions, can create significant obstacles to business in Kazakhstan.

The 2003 Law on Investments established a single investment regime for domestic and foreign investors and provides, inter alia, national treatment and non-discrimination for foreign investors. It guaranteed the stability of existing contracts at the time of its passage, with the qualification that new contracts will be subject to amendments in domestic legislation, certain provisions of international treaties, and domestic laws dealing with "national and ecological security, health, and ethics." The Law on Investments contains incentives and preferences for government-determined priority sectors, providing customs duty exemptions and in-kind grants (see 5. Performance Requirements and Incentives). The Law also provides for dispute settlement through negotiation, Kazakhstan's judicial process, and international arbitration (see 4. Dispute Settlement). In general, U.S. investors have expressed concerns about the Law’s narrow definition of investment disputes, its lack of clear provisions for access to international arbitration, and certain aspects of investment contract stability guarantees.

In January 2009, Kazakhstan adopted a new Tax Code that lowered corporate income and value-added taxes, replaced royalty payments with a mineral extraction tax, and introduced excess profits and rent taxes on the export of crude oil and natural gas. Accordingly, the corporate income tax rate has dropped from 30% to 20%. The value-added tax (VAT) has been reduced gradually from 16% in 2006 to 12% in 2009 where it now remains and will likely remain in the near term. Kazakhstan applies a flat 11% social tax to employers based on employees' earnings and a personal income tax rate of 10%. The tax rate for non-residents is between 5% and 20%, depending on an individual's type of income. Subsurface users are subject to additional taxes: a signing bonus, commercial discovery bonus, and historical cost reimbursement.

Experts consider Kazakhstan's tax laws among the most comprehensive in the former Soviet Union. It is common for Kazakhstan’s tax authorities to invoke the national Tax Code provisions over International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). At times this can lead to double taxation, especially when employing IFRS standards for deducting expenses between a company’s home office and its branch office in Kazakhstan (see 4 Dispute Settlement).

In 2001, Kazakhstan adopted transfer pricing legislation which gives tax and customs officials the authority to monitor export-import transactions. A transfer pricing law that came into force on January 1, 2009, introduced the commonly accepted "arm's length principle" embraced by the OECD. The law was amended in 2010 to provide for rights and liabilities of government agencies, the right of a transaction party to provide state agencies with a justification for applied prices, and the right to appeal results of tax inspections. According to the law, the Ministry of Finance has the right to monitor transactions of companies by surveying the prices of transactions and analyzing companies’ reports. Foreign investors concede that the new law is more closely aligned with international standards, but are concerned that the law will be applied not only to transactions with related parties, but to all international transactions. The Embassy is not aware of any cases involving the inappropriate application of transfer-pricing legislation in 2012.

Although no sectors of the economy are legally closed to investors, restrictions exist, such as a 20% ceiling on foreign ownership of media outlets and a 49% limit for foreign ownership in the telecommunications sector, which does not apply to mobile operators. The government has indicated that the restriction in the telecommunications sector will be removed following Kazakhstan’s accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO). No constraints on the participation of foreign capital in the banking and insurance sectors exist, but there is a ban on foreign bank and insurance company branches operating in Kazakhstan. Foreign companies in the banking and insurance sector may instead form a local joint stock company under parent company ownership. Restrictions also exist on foreign ownership of land in Kazakhstan (see 6. Right to Private Ownership and Establishment).

Foreign investors have complained about irregular application of laws and regulations, and have interpreted regulatory pressure as an effort to extract bribes. Some investors report harassment by the Financial Police via unannounced audits, inspections, and other methods. At times, the authorities have used criminal charges in civil disputes as a pressure tactic.

By law and in practice, foreign investors can participate in privatization projects. Many foreign companies, however, cite the need to defend their investments from a steady stream of decrees and legislative changes, most of which do not "grandfather" existing investments. Foreign investors also complain about arbitrary tax inspections, as well as problems in finalizing contracts, delays and irregular practices in licensing, and land fees. Foreign companies report that local authorities arbitrarily impose environmental fines which are then placed in the general budget vice being used to offset any alleged environmental damage. The national and local budgets include revenue from environmental fines, which can result in fines being levied to generate additional revenue, regardless of whether environmental regulations are breached or not. Some foreign firms have expressed concern about the failure of government organizations to fulfill their contractual obligations, particularly regarding payments, which can prevent the foreign partner from advancing its investment program. Investors can then be exposed to government charges of non-performance, which could allow the government to cancel the contract.

The government regulates foreign labor at macro and micro levels. Foreign workers must obtain work permits, which can be difficult and expensive. The government limits the issuance of work permits to boost local employment based on the area of specialization and geographic region. From 2003-2008, the quota for foreign labor steadily increased from 0.14% to 1.6% of the total workforce, but was reduced by half on the heels of the economic crisis in 2008. A foreign labor quota of 0.75% of the active labor force remained in force throughout 2009 and 2010, and was slightly increased in 2011 to 0.85%, reaching 1% in 2012. In 2013, the foreign labor quota is scheduled to grow to 1.2% of the active labor force.

A February 2011 amendment to Kazakhstan's Expatriate Workforce Quota and Work Permit Rules mandated that medium and large businesses have 90% local content in their workforce for technical personnel and 70% for company executives as of January 2012. Following a concerted campaign led by Western oil companies, Kazakhstan passed an October 2011 decree that exempts Kazakhstan's three largest hydrocarbon projects – Tengiz, Karachaganak and Kashagan – from the requirement for three years. Other foreign businesses find it difficult to meet the local content demands, especially in technical fields where Kazakhstan cannot supply skilled workers in sufficient numbers.

The 2011 law on migration allows foreign citizens with Kazakhstani residence permits to work in Kazakhstan without additional permission and without being counted against labor quotas. Kazakhstan also opened its labor market for its Common Economic Space partners Russia and Belarus. On January 1, 2012, Kazakhstan cancelled labor quotas for citizens of Russia and Belarus, and labor migrants from those countries are able to stay in the country for 90 days without registration with the migration police

Index

Ranking

Year

Transparency International

133 (score:28)

2012

Heritage Economic Freedom

68(score: 63)

2013

World Bank Doing Business Report

49

2013

Foreign Investment in the Extractive Industries

Despite growing investment in Kazakhstan's energy sector, concerns remain about the government's tendency to challenge contractual rights, to legislate preferences for domestic companies, and to create mechanisms for government intervention in foreign companies' operations, particularly in procurement decisions. Together with vague and contradictory legal provisions that are often arbitrarily enforced, these negative tendencies feed a perception that Kazakhstan is a suboptimal investment environment.

Business associations and investment advisors are concerned that Kazakhstan's Tax Code could undermine tax stability clauses in existing and future subsoil contracts. The government has stated that it will only guarantee tax stability for existing production sharing agreements (PSAs) and for the one major hydrocarbon project that has a tax and royalty contract (Tengiz). Furthermore, in December 2011, the Minister of Finance publicly stated that only tax rates, but not tax filing/collection procedures, will be held stable. Contracts for Tengiz, Kashagan, and Karachaganak include tax stability clauses that theoretically shelter the operating companies from changes to the tax code or customs regime.

In April 2008, Kazakhstan introduced a customs duty on crude oil and gas condensate exports. The government zeroed the customs duty rate in January 2009, but then it re-introduced it at a rate of $20 a ton in August 2010. The customs duty doubled to $40 a ton as of January 1, 2011 and has not changed since. Companies that pay "rent tax," a tax on mineral/crude oil exports, are exempted from the customs duty on crude exports.

The government’s "local content" strategy is considered to have a discriminatory effect on foreign investors. International oil companies complain that implementation is uneven, irregular, and non-transparent, particularly at local levels of government. Representatives of international service companies also report that it is difficult to obtain Kazakhstani certificates of origin. According to the Local Content Law, a product must carry a certificate of origin issued in Kazakhstan to meet the local content criteria.

The 2010 Law on Subsoil and Subsoil Use contains explicit requirements regarding the purchase of local goods and services for all investments in offshore oil and gas exploration and production. A December 2009 Local Content Law also requires that companies set a minimum percentage of local content for goods and services in contracts, but does not articulate how to address existing contracts without such quotas. U.S. businesses have privately reported intense pressure from the government of Kazakhstan to rewrite contracts to meet the revised local content standards. The Local Content Law allows the state to revoke the subsoil production rights of companies that do not meet local content requirements during a project’s exploration phase. The National Agency for Local Content Development (NALCD), under the Ministry of Industry and New Technologies, oversees local content policy. In April 2012, NALCD accused 38 mining companies of violating local content regulations (i.e. failure to provide information on planned and actual purchases of goods, works, and services in March 2012). The Agency threatened to impose penalties, including unilateral termination of subsoil use contracts; however, no contracts have thus far been annulled.

The government, led by the Ministry of Industry and New Technologies, is currently drafting an Action Plan on Enhancement of Local Content in Procurements for Major Subsoil Users and Strategic Mining and Petroleum Companies, which is scheduled for submission to the Presidential Administration in the first quarter of 2013. The Action Plan would require companies to utilize local content for 50% of Front End Engineering Design (FEED) and design works, would ban export of geological information (core samples, rocks and reservoir fluids) and would require the nomination of a Ministry of Industry and New Technologies representative onto Boards of Directors of key subsoil use projects. Kazakhstan's Foreign Investors Council has been given a draft of the Action Plan and provided comments outlining industry's concerns.

The Subsoil Law also allows the government to unilaterally amend existing contracts of "strategic significance" or even to terminate contracts deemed to threaten Kazakhstan's economic security or national interests. In April 2012, the government issued a new decree that enlisted 361 hydrocarbon fields and mineral deposits as having “strategic significance.” Companies must also obtain the government's permission to conclude combined exploration and production contracts. Additionally, the Subsoil Law shortens the time limits for exploration contracts, enhances the government's authority to terminate contracts not in compliance with the law, requires parliamentary approval for tax stability clauses in individual contracts, and precludes the use of production sharing agreements (PSAs) in the future. Moreover, the Law treats draft work plans containing cost and production volume projections as formal contract commitments. Companies must establish equal terms, conditions, and pay for Kazakhstani and foreign workers, and the government should evaluate subsurface resource bids based on proposed social contributions. The Law also severely reduces gas flaring quotas and imposes harsher penalties for environmental violations.

The Subsoil Law reaffirms the state's preemptive right to participate in equity transactions involving subsurface user rights in oil and gas or mining operations, including but not limited to the purchase of shares in new exploration and production projects. The government can also block the sale of oil and gas assets and exclude specific companies from participating in oil and gas tenders in the interests of "national security." The Subsoil Law establishes transparent procedures for state and private companies to exercise subsurface rights, and clearly defines when the state can exercise its priority right. A December 2010 regulation established an interdepartmental committee to advise whether and how to exercise the government's preemptive rights in extractive projects.

On January 9, 2012, President Nazarbayev signed the Law on Natural Gas and Gas Supply. The Law aims to regulate gas transportation, distribution, and pricing, as well as to create a single, monopolistic operator to purchase natural gas. On July 5, 2012, Kazakhstan's state owned firm KazTransGaz was designated as the national gas operator.

Conversion and Transfer Policies

In 1999, the government and National Bank of Kazakhstan announced that the national currency would be allowed to float freely at market rates. After a February 2009 tenge devaluation, the National Bank returned to a managed float exchange rate regime and maintained an exchange rate in the corridor 150 tenge/per U.S. dollar plus/minus 3%. In 2010, the National Bank broadened the corridor of fluctuation, allowing the tenge to float between 127.5 and 165 to the dollar. Although the National Bank cancelled the corridor of fluctuation and announced a return to a managed float exchange rate regime early in 2011, the exchange rate has not changed sharply. In 2012, the tenge fluctuated between 147.79 and 150.52 to the dollar.

In 1996, Kazakhstan adopted Article 8 of the IMF Articles of Agreement, which stipulates that current account transactions, such as currency conversions or the repatriation of investment profits, will not be restricted. No distinction is made between residents and non-residents in opening bank accounts, but all account holders must have a Kazakhstani tax identification number. Money transfers associated with foreign investments, whether inside or outside of the country, are unrestricted. Non-residents may be paid wages in a foreign currency (see Article 16 of the Law on Currency Regulation and Currency Control), and foreign investors may convert and repatriate earnings.

In June 2005, President Nazarbayev signed the Law on Currency Regulation and Currency Control. This law lifted restrictions on money transfers and allows individuals to take up to $10,000 in cash out of the country without documentation of the money's origin. The Russia- Belarus-Kazakhstan Customs Union further liberalized the money transfer regime by removing the requirement for a National Bank to certify money's origin in amounts over $10,000. On January 1, 2007, Kazakhstan eliminated all licensing requirements and procedures for foreign currency operations, except the licensing of foreign exchange operations. Banks conducting transactions in foreign currency, including bank payments and transfers relating to capital movements, must notify the National Bank of their operations as soon operations exceed a certain threshold. The notification threshold for capital outflow operations is $100,000 and for capital inflow operations is $500,000.

Export-import credits and financial loans with terms longer than 180 days fall under the National Bank's registration regime. Banks processing these credit transactions must register them and notify the National Bank before completing the transaction. Legislation stipulates that non-fulfillment of payment obligations on export of investment contracts triggers administrative or criminal charges. Administrative penalties are applied for non-payment of up to $50,000, above which criminal charges are applied.

The Law on Currency Regulation and Currency Control specified measures for a "special currency regime" which can only be introduced when the country's economic and financial stability are in jeopardy. Measures may include requirements for companies to retain a certain percentage of their foreign currency profits in the National Bank of Kazakhstan or other authorized banks, the mandatory sale of foreign currency earnings, and limits on the use of foreign bank accounts. Considered an extreme measure, its application in the foreseeable future appears unlikely.

The National Bank no longer requires so-called transaction passports for export-import operations following December 2011 legislative amendments to the Law on Currency Regulation and Currency Control. The law was simplified to instead require commercial banks to issue a contract registration number for imports and exports. A registration number is required for all transactions exceeding $50,000, and the procedure to receive a registration number can take several days.

The National Bank regularly monitors the currency operations of selected non-residents. This procedure primarily affects the oil and gas, construction, and mining industries, as well as companies providing architectural, engineering, and industrial design services. According to the National Bank, this monitoring provides better statistical data on the balance of payments and external debt.

The U.S. Embassy is not aware of any concerns with regard to remittance policies or the availability of foreign exchange conversion for remittance of profits. However, Kazakhstan’s 2012 Law on Electricity Generation could, in theory, be used to force electricity generators to reinvest all of their profits into infrastructure upgrades, thereby negating foreign investors’ opportunity to realize profits or take them out of the country.

Expropriation and Compensation

The 2003 Law on Investments allows nationalization by the state in emergency cases "as provided in legislative acts of the Republic of Kazakhstan." Unlike its predecessor -- the 1994 Investment Law -- it does not provide clear grounds for expropriation, nor does it require "prompt, adequate and effective" compensation at a fair market value. The 2003 Law differentiates between nationalization and requisition, providing full indemnification in the case of the former, as opposed to payment of market value in the case of the latter. Bilateral investment treaties (BITs) between Kazakhstan and other countries, including the United States, require compensation in the event of expropriation.

There has been only one case of legal expropriation of a foreign investor's property for public purpose. The investor ultimately submitted the case for international arbitration and the government paid the amount awarded by the arbiter in May 2006.

Dispute Settlement

There have been a number of investment disputes involving foreign companies in the past several years. While the disputes have arisen from unrelated, independent circumstances, many are linked to alleged violations of environmental regulations, tax laws, transfer pricing laws, and investment clauses. Some disputes relate to alleged illegal extensions of the exploration schedule by subsurface users as costs incurred during this period are fully reimbursed under the terms of a production sharing agreement. In some instances, disputes involve hundreds of millions of dollars. Problems arise in the enforcement of judgments, and ample opportunity exists for influencing judicial outcomes given the relative lack of judicial independence.

Kazakhstan's Civil Code establishes general commercial law principles. The 2003 Law on Investments defines an investment dispute as "a dispute ensuing from the contractual obligations between investors and state bodies in connection with investment activities of the investor." It states that such disputes can be settled by negotiation, in Kazakhstani courts, or through international arbitration. According to the Law, disputes not falling within the aforementioned category "shall be resolved in accordance with the laws of the Republic of Kazakhstan." While the laws of Kazakhstan favor use of the Kazakhstani judicial system, when contracts include an international arbitration clause it is honored. Moreover, in 2004 Kazakhstan adopted a law on international arbitration.

Kazakhstan has been a member of the International Center for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) since December 2001 and ratified the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards in 1995. By law, any international arbitral award rendered by the ICSID, a tribunal applying the UN Commission on International Trade Law Arbitration rules, Stockholm Chamber of Commerce, London Court of International Arbitration, or Arbitration Commission at the Kazakhstan Chamber of Commerce and Industry is enforceable in Kazakhstan.

Despite effective dispute resolution mechanisms for most commercial activity, an issue of serious concern for foreign investors is the lack of explicit provisions for international arbitration in the Subsoil Law. International law firms worry that because the Subsoil Law does not expressly provide for international arbitration, the government might choose not to include a provision in contracts to allow resolution of disputes through international arbitration. That said, in July 2010, then Prime Minister Karim Massimov ordered the Ministry of Justice to create a special legal department to defend the country's interests in international courts. Monetary judgments are normally made in domestic currency, but currency conversion is not a barrier to repatriation of awards.

Even when investment disputes are eventually resolved in accordance with contract conditions, the process of reaching a resolution can be very slow and involve considerable investment of time and resources. Many investors therefore elect to handle investment disputes privately, rather than make their cases public. The U.S. Embassy advocates on behalf of U.S. firms with investment disputes.

Additionally, the U.S. Ambassador participates in every meeting of the Prime Minister's Council to Improve the Investment Climate. The Council was created with the goal of paying special attention to questions related to foreign investors, including protection of their rights and interests. The Council proved to be an efficient forum for foreign companies to voice concerns about doing business in Kazakhstan in front of the country's Ministers and decision makers. In 2012, the Council discussed various issues, including tax administration problems, decriminalization of administrative violations, the rule of law, judicial independence, and the arbitrary application of environmental fines.

The 1997 Bankruptcy Law contains a detailed list of creditors' rights and prescribes mechanisms for enforcement. Amendments to the Law in 2008 provided a comprehensive list of the governmental authorities involved in bankruptcy procedures and expanded the rights of enterprises during rehabilitation procedures. According to Article 28 of the Civil Code, civil suits concerning the restructuring of financial institutions now fall within the jurisdiction of the Almaty Financial Court. The Court must approve creditor-agreed restructuring plans of financial institutions.

Performance Requirements and Incentives

The 2003 Law on Investments and 2008 Tax Code provide for tax preferences, customs duties exemptions, and in-kind grants as incentives for foreign and domestic investment in priority sectors. The Investment Committee under the Ministry of Industry and New Technologies makes decisions on customs duties exemptions (with notification to customs authorities) and in-kind grants on a case-by-case basis. The Investment Committee also ensures that investors meet their contractual obligations. The Law allows the government to rescind such incentives, collect back-payments, and/or revoke an investor's operating license if an investor fails to fulfill its contractual obligations. Tax preferences can be extended upon the decision of regional tax authorities.

The government uses preferences to help diversify its economy away from the extractive sector. Priority sectors include agriculture, construction, metallurgy, chemistry and pharmaceuticals, food production, consumer goods, oil refining, oil and gas infrastructure, metallurgy, transport, information communication, machinery, tourism, logistics, education, health care and aerospace. The system applies to new enterprises, as well as to existing enterprises making new investments. The duration of tax preferences increases with the size of investment.

In light of Kazakhstan's Accelerated Industrialization and Innovation Program (see 1. Openness to, and restrictions upon, Foreign Investment), the government amended the Law on Investments in 2012 and broadened possible preferences to include “strategic investment projects.” If the project helps develop the high-tech industry or exceeds $50 million of investment in an economically depressed region, it is eligible for property and land tax exemptions and/or subsidies for electricity and gas.

Right to Private Ownership and Establishment

Private entities, both foreign and domestic, have the right to establish and own business enterprises, buy and sell business interests, and to engage in all forms of remunerative activity.

Kazakhstan's constitution provides that land and other natural resources may be owned or leased by Kazakhstani citizens in accordance with the law. The 2003 Land Code allows citizens of Kazakhstan (natural and legalized) and Kazakhstani companies to own agricultural and urban land, including commercial and non-commercial buildings, complexes, and dwellings thereupon situated. Amendments to the Labor Code in 2011 permit foreigners to own land to build industrial and non-industrial facilities, including dwellings. Foreigners may rent, but not own, agricultural land for up to 10 years. Foreigners may, however, own agricultural land through either a Kazakhstani-registered joint venture or a full subsidiary. The Land Law does not allow private ownership of the following types of land:

  • land used for national defense and national security purposes;
  • specially-protected natural territories;
  • forests, reservoirs (lakes, rivers, canals, etc.), glaciers, swamps, etc.;
  • public areas (urban or rural settlements);
  • main railways and public roads;
  • land reserved for future development and construction of national parks, railways and public roads, subsoil use and power facilities, and social infrastructure.

Protection of Property Rights

Secured interests in property (fixed and non-fixed) are recognized under the Civil Code and the 2003 Land Code. All property and lease rights for real estate must be registered with the Ministry of Justice through its service centers distributed throughout the country.

Kazakhstan continues to move closer to international IPR standards. The Civil Code and various IPR laws, in principle, protect U.S. intellectual property. In 2006, USTR removed Kazakhstan from the Special 301 Watch list. In 2010, the government introduced amendments to trademark legislation that would bring provisions of the law in line with WTO guidelines for trade related aspects of intellectual property rights (TRIPS). Kazakhstan has also ratified 16 of the 24 treaties endorsed by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). In 2010, Kazakhstan joined the Madrid Agreement on the Repression of False or Deceptive Indications of Source on Goods and the Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Trademarks. It also ratified the Nairobi Treaty on the Protection of the Olympic Symbol. In 2011, Kazakhstan ratified the WIPO Patent Law Treaty.

In June 2011, Kazakhstan ratified the Agreement of the Common Economic Space on unified principles of regulation in the area of IPR protection. As follow-up steps within the framework of this agreement, in 2012 Kazakhstan ratified the Singapore Treaty on the Law of Trademarks and the Rome Convention for the Protection of Performers, Producers of Phonograms, and Broadcasting Organizations. In December 2011, Kazakhstan adopted amendments to IPR laws that enhance the responsibility for copyright violations on the internet and simplify procedures for trade mark registration.

Patent protection is available for inventions, industrial designs, prototypes, novel processes, and products that have industrial applications. The National Institute of Intellectual Property performs formal examinations of patent applications. Patents for inventions are granted for 20 years; patents for utility models are granted for a five year period with a possible three year extension. Prototypes patents are granted a 10 year initial period of protection, with the possibility of an additional five year extension. Kazakhstani legislation also permits an "innovation" patent, which is granted for an initial three year period with a possible extension for two years. Issued after only checking the local novelty of an invention, an innovation patent is expected to boost local business innovation. Unsuccessful applicants can appeal decisions of the National Institute of Intellectual Property and the Committee for Intellectual Property Rights. Kazakhstan is a member of the Moscow-based Eurasian Patent Bureau and the Munich-based European Patent Bureau.

Trademark violation is a crime in Kazakhstan. While trademarks are protected in Kazakhstan, counterfeit goods can be found at local markets. Registration fees charged to foreign patent and trademark applicants are significantly higher than those charged to domestic applicants. Applications for trademark, service mark, and appellations-of-origin protection should be filed with the National Patent Office and approved by the Committee for Intellectual Property Rights. Trademarks and service marks are afforded protection for 10 years from the date of filing. The Law on Copyrights and Related Rights was enacted in 1996. The law largely conforms to the requirements of the WTO TRIPS Agreement and the Berne Convention. One of the latest amendments to the Copyright Law allows licensed vendors to seek damages from unauthorized dealers selling pirated merchandise. Illegal software development and manufacture generally is not conducted in Kazakhstan. Russia, Ukraine and China are believed to be the local market's primary sources.

Transparency of the Regulatory System

The non-transparent application of laws remains a major problem in Kazakhstan and an obstacle to expanded trade and investment. Foreign investors complain of inconsistent standards and corruption. While foreign participation in the economy is generally welcomed, some foreign investors point out that the government is not always evenhanded and sometimes reneges on its commitments. Although the Investment Committee of the Ministry of Industry and New Technologies was established to facilitate foreign investment overall, it has had limited success in addressing the concerns of foreign investors.

Kazakhstan has taken great strides to try to improve its business environment and streamline bureaucratic practices, including accelerating start-up procedures and reducing minimum capital requirements for businesses. The government also introduced new building regulations and a risk-based approach for permit approvals in 2009 to decrease the onerous nature of attaining construction permits. As a result, Kazakhstan moved up 15 places to 53 out of 183 countries in the World Bank's 2011 Doing Business Report. In 2012, Kazakhstan progressed to 47th place in the report’s rankings. In the 2013 report, Kazakhstan placed 49th.

Kazakhstani law provides for government compensation for violations of contracts that were properly entered into and guaranteed by the government. However, where the government has merely "approved" or "confirmed" a foreign contract, the government’s responsibility is limited to the performance of administrative acts (i.e., those "concerning the issuance of a license, granting of a land plot, mining allotment, etc.") necessary to facilitate a subject's investment activity. In those cases, commercial arbitration or other dispute resolution mechanisms would need to be used to redress contract violations.

A 2007 Licensing Law established the legal framework for licensing activities and simplified procedural requirements. The relevant agency must issue a license within one month of receiving the required documents from a company. Amendments to the law in 2012 require that all licenses be issued in electronic format. Toward this end, the government launched a special website (www.elicense.kz) which contains a license data base updated monthly. Despite the government’s efforts to improve licensing procedures and reduce the number of licensed activities, the process remains time consuming, confusing, and costly, particularly for small-and-medium sized enterprises.

Efficient Capital Markets and Portfolio Investment

Kazakhstan has endeavored to create and implement a sound financial system and stable macroeconomic framework. As a result, the financial system has started to direct financial resources to the most promising parts of the economy. Official policy clearly supports credit allocation on market terms and the further development of legal, regulatory, and accounting systems consistent with international norms.

Most domestic borrowers obtain credit from Kazakhstani banks, although foreign investors find the bank margins and collateral requirements onerous. It is usually cheaper and simpler for foreign investors to use retained earnings or borrow from their home country. Since 1998, Kazakhstani banks have placed Eurobonds on international markets and obtained syndicated loans to support domestic lending. Leading Kazakhstani banks were able to obtain reasonably good ratings from international credit assessment agencies until the global financial crisis struck. In operation since 1993, the Kazakhstani Stock Exchange (KSE) is an insignificant source of investment. Decreased capitalization and diminished transaction volumes at KSE have not impacted the overall economic situation or financial markets

In October 2008, the Kazakhstani government announced a stabilization plan in response to the global financial crisis that included a $10 billion bailout package for banks. In February 2009, the government, via parastatal holding company Samruk-Kazyna, acquired majority stakes in four systemically important banks: 75% of common shares in BTA, 100% of Alliance Bank, 20% of common shares in Halyk Bank, and 21% of common shares in KazKommertsBank. Early in 2011, Halyk Bank bought out its common shares from Samruk-Kazyn BTA, Alliance Bank, Astana Finance, and Temirbank all defaulted by the end of 2009 and began debt restructuring processes. BTA alone required over $16 billion in debt restructuring, while Alliance Bank had to negotiate $4.5 billion in additional debt. In 2010, Alliance Bank and BTA bank concluded debt restructuring negotiations.

At the end of December 2011, BTA bank announced the necessity of a second debt restructuring. BTA bank failed to make a $150 million coupon payment due on January 1, 2012. The restructuring plan was approved by creditors and the National Bank at the end of 2012. As a result, the debt of BTA bank will be reduced from $11 billion to approximately $3.3 billion. Samruk-Kazyna, which now owns 97% of BTA, has converted $1.2 billion of deposits into equity and will provide a $1.6 billion subordinated loan to the bank. Although the bank will be recapitalized and its equity will meet Basel II requirements, the bank is still recovering. Analysts consider BTA bank an outlier when assessing the overall health of the industry.

Kazakhstan has 38 commercial banks and as of November 1, 2012, the assets of the five largest banks, including KazKommertsBank, HalykBank, BTA bank, Bank CenterCredit and ATF-UniCredit bank were valued at 8.34 trillion tenge (approximately $55 billion).

Although stable, Kazakhstan's banking system has not yet recovered. The poor and deteriorating quality of many banking assets, capital constraints, and cautious lending policies remain major challenges. As of November1, 2012, the share of non-performing loans (NPL) remained a high 36%. Analysts noted, however, encouraging signs of recovery, including 10.5% loan growth from January through November 2012.

To help the banks deal with NPLs, the National Bank established a Distressed Assets Fund that became operational in summer 2012. As of September 2012, the fund’s equity was around $33.5 million. Further capital injections from the National Bank will depend on the performance of the fund. The fund is expected to purchase from banks NPLs not backed by real estate. The National Bank also promulgated rules permitting commercial banks to create Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) for NPLs collateralized with real estate. As of January 2013, the two largest banks, Halyk Bank and KazKommertsBank, have created SPVs to address these types of bad loans.

Trading on the Kazakhstan Stock-Exchange (KSE) is dominated by block trades. The spreads are extremely wide, and the bulk of KSE trade is in foreign exchange which accounted for about 52% of total trade in 2012. Transactions with government securities accounted for 4.8% of KSE trade. In December 2012, the stock market capitalization of the KSE was $33.1 billion, and bond market capitalization was $40.5 billion. The number of listed companies dropped from 354 in 2010 to 122 in 2012.

In 2012, Samruk–Kazyna and KSE jointly launched the “People’s IPO” designed to permit Kazakhstani citizens and entities to purchase stock in the country’s state owned enterprises. The first stage of the program exceeded analysts' expectations when 34,000 individuals, 10 pension funds and one commercial bank purchased $393 million in shares of the parastatal pipeline company KazTransOil. The government and Samruk–Kazyna plan IPOs of other national companies, including KEGOC (operator of the electricity grid), KazMorTransFlot (a maritime shipping company), and eventually KazTransGas (the national gas operator) and Kazakhstan TemirZholy (the national railway company). Foreign companies and individuals will be eligible to purchase shares in these companies only on the secondary market.

Pension funds are investors in both the KSE and foreign markets. As of December 2012, 11 pension funds had accumulated 3,116.6 billion tenge (approximately $20.8 billion) in assets. According to national legislation, pension fund assets can only be invested in specific categories of securities, including corporate and government bonds, and securities issued by foreign governments and foreign corporations. The government is considering reform of the pension system, including a possible liberalization of the pension funds’ investment rules and increasing the age of retirement for women.

There have been few hostile takeovers in Kazakhstan, probably because there are few publicly traded firms. Defensive measures against takeovers are not targeted toward foreign investors in particular. The Civil Code requires a company that has purchased a 20% share in another company to publish information about the purchase.

Competition from State-Owned Enterprises

Officially, private enterprises compete with public enterprises under the same terms and conditions. However, state-owned enterprises generally enjoy better access to natural resources, markets, credit, and licenses than private entities.

The government of Kazakhstan has actively consolidated state-owned enterprises in recent years. At the end of 2012, six state-owned holding companies existed in Kazakhstan. Kazakhstani law requires national holding companies to publish annual reports and submit their books for independent audit. The following details each of the holding companies:

1. Samruk-Kazyna - National Welfare Fund (S-K) was modeled on Singapore's Temasek. Kazakhstan's largest national holding company, it manages the state's assets in oil and gas, energy, transportation, telecommunication, and the financial and innovation sectors. According to some estimates, Samruk-Kazyna controls more than half of Kazakhstan's economy and is the nation's largest buyer of goods and services. Samruk-Kazyna's official purpose is to facilitate economic diversification and to increase effective corporate governance; however, it spent its first two years spearheading the government's anti-financial crisis program.

The Prime Minister chairs Samruk-Kazyna's Board of Directors, which includes the Ministers of Finance, Industry and Trade, Economic Development and Trade, and Oil and Gas, as well as the Head of the Presidential Administration (Chief of Staff) and three independent directors. In February 2009, President Nazarbayev signed a separate law providing Samruk-Kazyna special status and rights. Samruk-Kazyna can now conclude large transactions between members of its holdings without public notification. Samruk-Kazyna also has a pre-emptive right to buy strategic facilities and bankrupt assets. It is exempt from government procurement procedures and has the right to establish its own procurement rules. Moreover, the government can transfer to Samruk-Kazyna state-owned property, simplifying the process to transfer state property to private owners.

2. KazAgro manages the state's agricultural holdings, including the National Food Contract Corporation (government wheat purchasing agent), KazAgroFinance (equipment subsidy provider), Agrarian Credit Corporation, Corporation on Livestock Development, and the Fund for Financial Assistance to Agriculture. Chaired by one of the Deputy Prime Ministers, the Board of Directors includes the Ministers of Finance, Agriculture, and Economic Development and Trade, as well as three independent directors.

3. Parasat is charged with stimulating the development of scientific research and domestic capacity in the high-tech sector. The holding company manages several scientific institutions and funds. Chaired by one of the Deputy Prime Ministers, the Board includes the Minister of Education of Science, the Vice-Minister of Economic Development and Trade, the Chairmen of the State Property and Science Committees, and independent directors.

4. Zerde - National Informative and Communication Holding Company was created to develop modern information and communication technologies and to stimulate investments and innovations in the communication sector. The Managing Board's Chairman is subordinate to the Ministry of Communication and the Prime Minister's office.

5. The National Medical Holding company seeks to implement business-oriented and innovative corporate management in Astana's newly built medical facilities. In 2010, the holding company became a part of Nazarbayev University with the stated goal of creating favorable conditions for medical research and the use of advanced medical technologies in Astana. The Board of Directors is chaired by one of the Deputy Prime Ministers.

6. In 2011, the government established National Holding Company “Kasipkor” to develop a modern vocational education system in Kazakhstan in the areas of engineering, communication and information technologies, design, metallurgy, machinery building and crafts.

National Oil Fund

Kazakhstan has a sovereign wealth fund which is formally named the National Oil Fund of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Established by Presidential decree in 2000, the fund aims to diminish the country's budgetary dependence on fluctuating world oil prices and to accumulate savings to benefit future generations. The Fund receives all direct taxes and a percentage of revenues from the oil sector, revenues from the privatization of state property in the mining and manufacturing industries, and proceeds from sales of farmlands, as well as the Fund's investment income. The Ministry of Finance owns the National Fund. The National Bank is its trustee, and selects external administrators from internationally recognized investment companies or banks to oversee the fund. Information on external administrators and the assets they manage is confidential.

In addition to preserving wealth for future generations, the Fund is also used to support the government’s political and economic objectives. In February 2012, a $4 billion loan was extended from the Fund to Kazakhstan's state-owned oil company KazMunayGas (KMG) to support its participation in the Kashagan oil field. The National Fund also invests in the domestic economy through "official transfers to the state budget," which can now vary from $6.8 billion to $9.2 billion annually. President Nazarbayev has decreed that the National Fund should retain a minimum balance of no less than 20% of GDP.

In 2012, the National Bank founded the Investment Corporation to invest small portions of the National Fund and the Bank’s international reserves in international markets in order to diversify Kazakhstan’s assets and to increase its returns. The Investment Corporation has been allotted $5 billion for the next five years to invest into private equity, hedge funds, real estate, and infrastructure projects abroad.

The Ministry of Finance and the National Bank prepare the National Fund's annual report, which the President approves. In addition, the Ministry of Finance and National Bank publish on their websites (www.minfin.kz, www.nationalbank.kz) monthly and annual reports on revenues and use of National Fund money. Although these reports provide information on the Fund's general financial situation, they do not provide details. As of January 1, 2013, the National Fund's assets totaled $57.8 billion. Kazakhstan's total international reserves, including the National Bank's foreign currency and gold reserves, equaled $86.1 billion (in current prices).

Corporate Social Responsibility

Kazakhstan is in the process of adhering to OECD Guidelines for International Investment and Multinational Enterprises, and the government actively promotes the idea of corporate social responsibility. In his addresses to foreign investors and local businesses, President Nazarbayev has repeatedly asked them to implement corporate socially responsible projects, to provide occupational safety, to pay salaries on time, and to invest in human capital. The President annually awards "Paryz" ("Honors" in Kazakh) for achievements in corporate social responsibility.

Foreign Investors report that local government officials regularly pressure them to provide social investments in order to achieve local political objectives. These local officials also attempt exert as much control as possible over both the selection of and the subsequent allocation of funding for the projects.

Political Violence

There have been no incidents of politically motivated violence against foreign investment projects, and politically motivated civil disturbances remain exceptionally rare. In 2012, Kazakhstan experienced several incidents in which individuals or groups associated with Islamic extremists launched small-scale violent attacks against government offices, with most concentrating on police and national security organs. The violence has remained isolated and has not targeted foreign investment or foreigners working in Kazakhstan. Kazakhstan has good relations with its neighbors, although the government is concerned that the borders with Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan are vulnerable to penetration by extremist groups.

In the January 15, 2012 parliamentary elections, the president’s party Nur Otan won 80 percent of the vote, Ak-Zhol won 7.47 percent, and the Communist People’s Party won 7.19 percent. All three parties elected are generally considered supporters of President Nazarbayev. While the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) asserted that the election did not meet Kazakhstan's OSCE commitments or international standards for democratic elections, and opposition groups denounced the election as fraudulent, no significant demonstrations against the results occurred.

Corruption

Although the Kazakhstani Criminal Code contains special penalties for accepting and giving bribes, corruption is common throughout Kazakhstan. The President issued an anti-corruption decree in April 2009 that provides whistle-blower protection, punishes state officials who fail to report corruption cases, and tries to prevent conflicts of interests. Amendments to the anti-corruption law were signed on December 7, 2009 increasing punishments for corruption, instituting mandatory asset forfeitures, broadening the definition of corruption crimes to include fraud committed by government officials, and criminalizing the acceptance of a bribe on behalf of a third party. The law also extended the definition of government official to managers of companies in which the government holds more than a 35% stake.

The Ministry of Interior, Financial Police, Disciplinary State Service Commission, and Committee for National Security (KNB) are responsible for combating corruption. However, questions of jurisdiction and competition between the Financial Police and KNB have occurred recently.

Transparency International (TI) maintains a national chapter in Kazakhstan. Kazakhstan's rating in TI's annual Corruption Perceptions Index is currently 2.8, placing Kazakhstan at 133 out of 176 countries rated -- a relatively weak score but the best for any country in Central Asia. TI experts have pointed out that corruption is particularly prevalent in the judiciary, police, customs, land registration, licensing, and construction projects. The government has signed on to the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) and is working to complete the validation process.

U.S. firms have cited corruption as a significant obstacle to investment. Law enforcement agencies occasionally have pressured foreign investors who are perceived to be uncooperative with the government, a practice that is made possible by the fact that many errors or omissions that would constitute routine civil violations in OECD countries are treated as criminal cases in Kazakhstan. The government and local business entities are widely aware of the legal restrictions placed on business abroad, such as the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and the UK Bribery Act.

Bilateral Investment Agreements

The United States-Kazakhstan Bilateral Investment Treaty came into force in 1994. In 1992, the United States and Kazakhstan signed an Investment Incentive Agreement.

In 1996, the Treaty on the Avoidance of Double Taxation between the United States and Kazakhstan came into force. Since independence, Kazakhstan has signed treaties on the avoidance of double taxation with 44 countries. Kazakhstan has bilateral protection investment agreements with 47 countries, including Great Britain, Germany, Italy, France, Russia, South Korea, Iran, China, Turkey, and Vietnam. 30 of these 47 agreements have been ratified. In 2012, Kazakhstan signed investment agreements with Macedonia and Afghanistan. Some foreign investors charge that Kazakhstani tax authorities are very reluctant to refer double taxation questions to appropriate bi-national resolution bodies.

OPIC and Other Investment Insurance Programs

The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) has been active in Kazakhstan since 1994. OPIC is seeking commercially viable projects in Kazakhstan's private sector, and offers a full range of investment insurance and debt/equity stakes.

Kazakhstan is a member of the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), which is part of the World Bank Group that provides political risk insurance for foreign investments in developing countries.

Labor

Kazakhstan has an educated workforce, although the proportion of highly technically competent workers is fairly small. Demand for skilled labor generally exceeds local supply. Technical skills, management expertise, and marketing skills are all in short supply. Many large investors rely on foreign workers and engineers to fill the void.

The Kazakhstani government has made it a priority to ensure that Kazakhstani citizens are well represented in foreign enterprise workforces. In 2009, the government instituted a comprehensive policy for local content, particularly for companies in the extractive industries (see 1. Openness to, and restrictions upon, Foreign Investment and 5. Performance Requirements and Incentives). It is particularly keen to see Kazakhstanis hired into the managerial and executive ranks of foreign enterprises. Local content regulations require a minimum of 1% of a project budget be earmarked for training programs and workforce development, including overseas assignments with the lead operator. Employers' reliance on foreign labor in the face of poverty in rural Kazakhstan has become a political issue in recent years. In 2012, the minimum wage was $116.26 per month, and the minimum pension was $116.6 per month. By government estimates, the unemployment rate remained stable at just over 5% at the end of 2012.

A quota system for foreign employees and local content requirements creates an additional burden for employers. Several American and other foreign employees doing business in Kazakhstan have informed the U.S. Embassy that immigration authorities continue to scrutinize foreign work permits. U.S. companies are strongly advised to contact locally-based law and accounting firms and the U.S. Foreign Commercial Service in Almaty for updated information on work permits.

The Constitution and 2007 Labor Code guarantee basic workers' rights, including the right to organize and the right to strike. Workers can execute this right, if all arbitration measures defined by law are exhausted and solutions are not found. Decisions to strike must be taken in a meeting where at least half of workers are present. Strikers must give five days advance notice to their employer and include a list of complaints as well as the date, the time and the place of strike. The court has the power to declare a strike illegal at the request of an employer or the General Prosecutor’s office. Workers who participate in illegal strikes are subject to penalties. The Labor Code prohibits lockouts. The government is drafting a new law on Labor Unions.

Kazakhstan joined the International Labor Organization (ILO) in 1993. As of December 2012, Kazakhstan had ratified 19 ILO conventions, including those pertaining to minimum employment age, forced labor, discrimination in employment, equal remuneration, collective bargaining, the worst forms of child labor, and safety and health in construction. In 2011, Kazakhstan ratified Asbestos Convention 162.

Foreign Trade Zones/Free Trade Zones

The 2011 Law on Special Economic Zones allows foreign companies to establish enterprises in special economic zones, simplifies procedures to attract foreign labor, and establishes a special customs zone regime not governed by Customs Union rules. A system of tax preferences exists for foreign and domestic enterprises engaged in prescribed economic activities in Kazakhstan's nine Special Economic Zones (SEZ). The SEZs are located in the New Administrative Center in Astana, the Seaport of Aktau, the Alatau Information Technology Park (near Almaty), the Ontustik Cotton Center in south Kazakhstan, the international tourism zone "Borabay" (a resort area 300 kilometers from Astana), the Atyrau National Industrial Petrochemical Techno park, a metallurgical zone in the Karaganda region, a transport and logistics zone in Khorgos at the Kazakhstan-Chinese border, and a chemical zone in Pavlodar. Kazakhstan also plans to create a chemical industry SEZ in Taraz.

Summary Of Investments As Of 2012: As of June 30, 2012, Kazakhstan has received $171.9 billion of foreign direct investment since independence: 41.5% in business consulting and geological exploration, 12.9% in the financial sector, and approximately 14% in the extractive industries. U.S. firms have consistently ranked as some of Kazakhstan's largest foreign investors having invested $4.1 billion in the extractive sector. This includes large investments in Kazakhstan's petroleum sector by Chevron, ExxonMobil, and ConocoPhillips. From 1993 to October 2012, Tengizchevroil, in which Chevron holds a 50% stake and ExxonMobil a 25% stake, contributed approximately $72.3 billion to Kazakhstani entities through purchases of Kazakhstani goods and services, tariffs and fees paid to state-owned companies, profit distributions to Kazakhstani shareholders, taxes and royalties paid to the government, and the salaries of employees. Other foreign investors in the petroleum sector include the Chinese National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), Shell, BG Group, Total, Agip, Lukoil, Eni, and Inpex. Other major U.S. investors in the broader economy include JP Morgan Chase&Co (over $300 million in business services), Marriott International (around $170 million in construction), and General Electric Transportation ($78 million in a locomotive facility). Non-U.S. major foreign investors include ArcelorMittal and BAE Systems.

Foreign Direct Investment Statistics

Table 1. ANNUAL GROSS FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENT FLOWS BY COUNTRIES-MAJOR INVESTORS (Millions of Dollars; nominal)

 

1993-2010

2011

2012 (9 months)

Total

USA

38,060.7

1,793.3

479.5

42,514.1

Netherlands

48,915.6

8,137.3

6,639.4

69,439.1

UK

17,963.9

799.2

340.8

20,124.7

Italy

9,511.7

455.2

-91.1

10, 448.1

France

13,240.9

1,545.3

839.3

17,158.7

Switzerland

7,349.8

443.8

411.9

8,683.2

Germany

1,175.5

125.7

362.6

1,855.3

South Korea

5,624.6

348.5

361.0

6,633.8

China

7,737.1

1,168.6

1,835.6

11,628.8

Canada

7,573.6

575.7

1,060.3

9,625.5

Russia

8,905.1

1,009.8

14.5

10,858.7

Japan

5,906.8

622.0

363.0

7,506.3

Turkey

2,771.7

123.3

137.6

3,122.8

British Virgin Islands

12,513.3

678.1

376.5

14,253.3

Others

36,500.3

2,983.3

3,894.0

46,727.7

TOTAL

223,751.0

20,809.0

17,025.0

280,620.0


Source: National Bank of Kazakhstan (the stock data is valued at market cost)

Table 2. ANNUAL GROSS FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENT FLOWS BY INDUSTRIES (Millions of U.S. Dollars; nominal)

 

1993-2010

2011

2012 (9 months)

Total

agriculture, hunting and forestry

142.5

7.4

15.1

171.0

mining and quarrying

73,708.8

4,035.9

2,925.9

85,684.9

including, but not limited to extraction of crude petroleum

and natural gas

65,130.3

2,208.6

1,519.8

72,644.7

manufacturing

21,311.5

2,855.4

1,619.1

27,836.2

electricity gas and air conditioning

573.5

116.1

154.5

914.0

water supply, sewage and waste management
and remediation activities

0.4

9.3

-0.4

9.5

construction

3,786.9

414.8

899.7

5,523.8

wholesale and retail trade, repair of motor vehicles, motorcycles and personal and household goods

13,461.7

1,556.2

1,448.3

16,735.3

food and

accommodation
services

576.3

27.1

27.7

659.6

transport& storage

2,365.6

208.0

282.4

2,921.6

information &

communication

1,301.8

228.1

1,927.2

3,814.2

financial and
insurance activity

13,104.8

407.6

1,169.5

15,209.7

real estate activities

1,337.8

165.4

69.3

1,705.0

professional, scientific
& technical activities

85, 576.8

10,555.5

6,365.3

112,220.6

including but not limited to geological exploration and prospecting
activities

80,109.1

8,821.8

4,985.0

102,316.7

education, health and
social work services;

arts, entertainment
and recreation

383.3

16.8

11.5

426.7

administration
and support services

299.9

107.0

26.0

520.1

other

5,819.5

98.4

83.5

6,268.5

TOTAL

223,751.0

20,809.0

17,025.0

280,620.0

Source: National Bank of Kazakhstan

Table 3. FDI AS PERCENTAGE OF GDP (FLOW)

2010

2011

2012(9 months)

13%

11.4%

12.8%

Source: National Bank of Kazakhstan

Table 4. FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENT (stock) IN KAZAKHSTAN BY MAJOR INVESTORS AND INDUSTRIES AS OF SEPTEMBER 30, 2012 (Millions of U.S. dollars)


Direct Investment TOTAL

105, 804.0

AGRICULTURE, HUNTING AND FORESTRY

34.7

Including, but not limited to Netherlands

21.2

MINING AND QUARRYING

17,733.1

Including, but not limited to USA

2,495.8

Netherlands

5,994.0

China

3,383.5

Great Britain

570.9

Canada

1,687.0

MANUFACTURING

11,870.7

including, but not limited to Netherlands

9,147.0

Switzerland

1,621.0

Great Britain

363.3

ELECTRICITY, GAS AND AIR CONDITIONING

698.8

Including, but not limited to British Virgin Islands

180.7

Netherlands

399.1

WATER SUPPLY, SEWERAGE & WASTE MANAGEMENT REMEDIATION ACTIVITIES

11.9

Including, but not limited to Netherlands

8.3

CONSTRUCTION

1,479.3

Including, but not limited to China

711.3

Netherlands

354.0

Turkey

23.3

Russia

111.9

WHOLESALE AND RETAIL TRADE, REPAIR OF MOTOR VEHICLES, AND PERSONAL AND HOUSEHOLD GOODS

3,814.8

Including, but not limited to Netherlands

964.5

Russia

631.6

Arab Emirates

832.4

ACCOMODATION AND FOOD SERVICES

191.1

Including, but not limited to Russia

2.7

Netherlands

108.5

TRANSPORT AND STORAGE

350.2

Including, but not limited to USA

70.5

Netherlands

58.1

INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION

1,210

Netherlands

740.9

Cyprus

427.4

FINANCIAL AND INSURANCE ACTIVITY

5,367.7

Including, but not limited to Austria

1,471.0

Netherlands

249.5

Great Britain

349.2

USA

308.5

Russia

795.7

China

201.5

PROFESSIONAL, SCIENTIFIC & TECHNICAL ACTIVITIES

60,077.4

Including, but not limited to Netherlands

25,500.8

USA

12,263.5

France

7,994.9

Japan

3,606.2

Great Britain

261.6

Source: National Bank of Kazakhstan (the stock data is valued at market cost)

Table 5. FDI (stock) AS PERCENTAGE OF GDP

As of September 30, 2012

80.1%


Table 6. KAZAKHSTANI DIRECT INVESTMENT OUTFLOWS (Millions of U.S. dollars, nominal)

Country of Destination

2004-2011

2012(9 months)

Total

Netherlands

36,499.9

1,254.8

37,754.7

Great Britain

5,815.7

-37.1

5,778.6

Russia

3,354.6

74.8

3,429.4

Virgin Islands

1,942.4

-74.4

1,868.0

Turkey

1,377.5

-14.0

1,363.6

Switzerland

1,299,9

17.9

1,317.8

USA

1,265.0

0.5

1,265.5

Cyprus

933.3

0.8

934.2

Kyrgyzstan

829.2

-5.5

823.6

Ukraine

710.0

8.8

718.7

Germany

479.6

1.0

480.6

China

343.6

21.2

364.8

Arab Emirates

220.5

344.2

564.7

Other Countries

2,248.0

247.1

2,495.0

TOTAL

57,319.0

1,840.0

59,159.0

Source: National Bank of Kazakhstan



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