Swiss investments in Kazakhstan reach $28.2 billion over 15 years
Over the past 15 years, investments from Switzerland have reached US$28.2 billion, said Kassym-Jomart Tokayev during the Kazakh-Swiss investment roundtable as part of his official visit to Geneva, reports Strategy2050.kz.
Tokayev arrived in Geneva on November 29 as he continued his official visit to Europe visiting Belgium prior to that.
As part of the roundtable, six commercial agreements were signed worth $301 million, including building 10 service centers, creating an agricultural fund, localization of innovative medicines for the treatment of socially significant diseases, creating a livestock complex, and ten non-commercial documents
In his speech, Tokayev noted that the round table is of key importance for the development of trade and economic relations between Kazakhstan and Switzerland. According to him, Switzerland for many years has been one of the main strategic and investment partners of Kazakhstan.
“In turn, Kazakhstan investments in Switzerland have reached 775.2 million Swiss francs. More than 200 Swiss companies successfully invest and work in Kazakhstan, including such global giants as Glencore, Sika, Swiss Grow, Stadler, and others. For us, this is a positive sign of the high level of trust in Kazakhstan and the investment approach we have worked hard to promote. In June of this year, I held a special meeting with Swiss companies operating in our market. Our commitment to cooperating with you is firm and unwavering," said the President.
Tokayev stressed that Kazakhstan is the largest and one of the fastest-growing economies in Central Asia. Over 30 years of independence, it has attracted over $370 billion in foreign direct investment and trades with 180 countries.
“Our economy has become stronger, more competitive and attractive. Today we are steadily heading towards a clean, innovative and diversified model of the economy. To this end, we are taking concrete steps, within which comprehensive support for investors has been defined as one of the national priorities. We have introduced the principle of individual support for each investor. The state guarantees legal and financial stability for the most important investment projects for up to 25 years," said Tokayev.
The President said that he personally chairs the Council of Foreign Investors that unites major investors in the Kazakh economy, while the Investment Ombudsperson works under the guidance of the Prime Minister.
He also spoke about the Astana International Financial Center that works on the basis of English law, and its substructures that make the center a unique regional financial hub not only in Kazakhstan but in the region.
“Participants of the center providing financial services are exempt from corporate income tax and VAT until 2066. Foreign exchange, visa and labor requirements have been simplified. More than 1,000 companies from 59 countries have entered our stock exchange," said the head of state.
The President of Kazakhstan told the Swiss investors that the country has established 37 special economic and industrial zones in the priority sectors of the economy.
Kazakhstan has also created a strong transport and logistics base and ensured the country's integration into global transport corridors. Dozens of international transport routes connecting China, Central Asia, , the Persian Gulf, and Europe pass through the country.
“Over 30 years, we have seen that relations between countries can be considered successful if there is a constructive dialogue with the participation of business. The government can and should provide the basis for such interaction and cooperation. This is achieved through diplomatic and political means, regulatory instruments, incentives, implementation of the rule of law and practical support. Business can and should do the rest!” he added.
Addressing the investment roundtable were also Jan Atteslander, Member of Executive Board and Head for International Relations at Economisuisse Swiss Association, co-chairs of Kazakhstan-Switzerland Business Council - Peter Spuhler, CEO of Stadler Rail and Nurlan Sauranbayev, Kazakhstan Temir Zholy Chair, Robert Ichner, Country Managing Director at ABB Switzerland, and Hans-Christian Schneider, CEO of Ammann Group, among other speakers.
Tokayev thanked them for their contribution to the development of Kazakhstan's economy and expressed hope for further cooperation between the business communities of the two countries.