To date, Kazakhstan has created a favorable investment climate with a simplified tax regime, constantly improving legislation, extended package of investment preferences. Government programs on attracting investments have been adopted and today Kazakhstan is in top 50 most competitive countries in the world. The country also sits 50th in the updated World Bank’s «Doing Business 2014» ranking and within the Global Competitiveness Index’s «investor protection» indicator is ranked 10th among 185 countries in the world for the second year in a row.
Today Kazakhstan is one of the leaders on the volume of foreign capital invested in economy.From 2005 to 2013 our republic attracted 183.9 billion U.S. dollars of foreign direct investments. Dynamics of the last five years shows that more than $100 billion of the total investment were attracted in this period. Thereby, even during the global financial crisis, our investment climate and the macroeconomic situation in the country remained stable and bred confidence among investors.
One of the key competitive advantages of Kazakhstan is its geographical location near the fast-growing markets, such as China, Russia, and India. Moreover, Kazakhstan connects major transcontinental routes connecting Asia Pacific, Europe and the Middle East. Integration processes within the Customs Union play an important role as well. CU opensa common market with a combined GDP of $2 trillionand with population of about 170 million people, which creates new opportunities for investors and entrepreneurs of our countries.
In order to protect investors' rights a multilevel dialogue system between the state and investors was established including Foreign Investors Council under the President of Kazakhstan, Council for improvement of investment climate chaired by the Prime Minister of Kazakhstan, a special body under the chairmanship of the Deputy Prime Minister operating as an investment ombudsman.
In the economic sphere Kazakhstan has been implementing a number of strategic program documents, such as the State program on accelerated industrial and innovative development, the Concept of transition to "Green economy". It is estimated that by 2050 up to 50% of the energy created will be supplied by alternative and renewable energy sources, which will add at least 3% to the GDP growth.
The following guarantees of investors’ rights are fixed in the Law «On Investments»: legal protection guarantees, use of income guarantees, guarantees of investors’ rights during nationalization and requisition (only in exceptional cases). Additional guarantees are provided by bilateral agreements on investment promotion and protection (47 bilateral and 1 multilateral (EurAsEC).
In accordance with the Law «On investments» a company investing in priority sectors may receive the following preferences and privileges – exemption from customs duties on the import of equipment and raw materials needed for the project; state land grants.
For strategic investment projects (production of a high added value high-tech products in priority industries and with the volume of investment not less than 5 million of monthly-calculated index) tax privileges (land and property taxes on a zero rate) for a period of up to 7 years are provided; industrial benefits in regions with low level of social and economic development (compensation and payment for part of expenses for gas, electricity, acquisition of the land plot, acquisition and construction of buildings).
Within 10 special economic zones the following preferences are provided – release from corporate income tax, land tax, property tax and the VAT for the goods consumed in the territory of SEZ. The rent of the land plot comes free of charge for 10 years.
«Park of Innovative Technologies» (PIT) special economic zone offers additional privileges – a 0% social tax, an exterritoriality principle which allows PIT residents to be outside of SEZ and still use tax preferences except for the VAT, a 40% depreciation rate for software (the standard – 15%).