Plans to attract foreign investment in 2023 discussed in Government
Prime Minister Alikhan Smailov held a meeting of the Investment HQ on Saturday, Jan 28, where the results of last year's capital investment (CIF) and foreign direct investment (FDI) attraction and tasks for the forthcoming period were discussed.
Deputy Minister of National Economy Ilyas Usserov reported that the volume of investments in fixed capital for 2022 amounted to 15.1 trillion tenge (94.2% of the annual plan), which is 7.9% more as compared to 2021. Growth was recorded in areas such as real estate operations, mining, agriculture, transport and warehousing.
The Ministries of Science and Higher education (121.8%), Healthcare (103.5%) and Education (102.3%) among the central government agencies met the annual plan. The Ministries of Environment and Natural Resources (79.4%) and Culture and Sports (72.5%) showed the least progress.
Outsiders among regions are Ulytau (75.6%), Atyrau (84.2%) and Zhambyl (86.5%) regions. The main reasons for under-achievement of the target indicators were delayed procedures for issuing land plots and technical conditions, unpreparedness of the necessary infrastructure, as well as the impact of the geopolitical situation.
The akims of Ulytau region Berik Abdygaliuly, Atyrau region Serik Shapkenov and Zhambyl region Nurzhan Nurzhigitov made comments on the measures taken.
The Prime Minister stressed that the implementation of five major projects worth 27.1 billion tenge in the Ulytau region was actually thwarted.
"The shortfall in capital investment in the region exceeds 50 billion tenge. The akimat had to fill this gap with new projects. Using the existing potential of the region, it was necessary to organize the attraction of additional investments and timely resolution of problems," Alikhan Smailov said.
The Head of Government noted that the great potential and reserves of the region were not fully used in the Atyrau region.
"More than 60% of investments were made in the major projects of Tengizchevroil and KPI. At the same time, the oblast's leadership attributes the failure to achieve the indicator to a decrease in investment in the above-mentioned projects. The Akimat should have started looking for additional sources of growth in advance, knowing that the deadlines for their implementation are approaching," Alikhan Smailov pointed out.
The Prime Minister also pointed out that one third of investments in Zhambyl region was made at the expense of budgetary funds.
"The akimat is delaying the implementation of a number of important projects, including the production of soda ash and a fertilizer plant. The regional government needs to step up work on increasing the volume of new investments," he said.
In general, Alikhan Smailov criticised the work of regional akimats who lag behind in attracting investment.
"Some akims say that investments grew by 1-2% and try to pass it off as an achievement. But these are not the best figures and are a sign of a lack of systematic work. Last year we achieved an 8% increase in the republic. The Head of State has set the task to increase the level of IEC to GDP to 25% by 2025. This means that the rate should be higher than 10% annually," he said.
The Ministers of Industry and Infrastructural Development Marat Karabayev, Energy Bolat Akchulakov and Agriculture Yerbol Karashukeyev reported on measures taken by the sectors.
Alikhan Smailov pointed out the necessity to improve the work on attraction of investments in the abovementioned spheres including activation of actions on non-implemented large projects. According to him, it also applies to the Ministries of Culture and Sports, Environment and Natural Resources.
Speaking on the attraction of foreign direct investments, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Almas Aidarov said that their inflow for the first nine months of 2022 amounted to $22.1 billion, which is 17.8% more than for the same period of 2021. In particular, 46 investment projects with foreign participation were commissioned in such sectors as mechanical engineering, renewable energy, metallurgy, agro-industrial complex, etc.
The top 10 investor countries are the Netherlands, USA, Switzerland, Belgium, Russia, South Korea, China, France, Great Britain and Turkey.
Prime Minister said that in 2023 the task is to attract at least $24.4 billion of foreign investment into the economy, for which the Government has created all the necessary conditions.
"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, together with the national company Kazakh Invest and the regions should work proactively in this direction. Cooperation with Kazakhstan foreign institutions should also be strengthened to achieve the targets set," he said.
Summing up the meeting, Alikhan Smailov said that the heads of regions and ministers need to take into account all the comments and take measures to correct the omissions of last year.