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Global crisis may be good for Kazakhstan economy

08 march 2012, 17:04
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Investors operating in the countries suffering from the financial crisis could re-direct their investments into another region, Kazakhstan in particular, Interfax-Kazakhstan reports citing head of the Investment Promotion Technical Assistance Program of the Islamic Development Bank (ITAP IDB) Khalid Khalafalla.

"The crisis may be used as a benefit in Kazakhstan. I.e. the investors who are used to investing in such countries as the U.S. are currently considering other places for investments because of the crisis. Kazakhstan in such situation can attract them into its economy," he told Interfax-Kazakhstan.

Meanwhile, head of the World Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (WAIPA) Carlos Bronzatto noted that with the coming crisis Kazakhstan will probably have to review its plans to achieve a 15-percent increase in investments into non-energy sector by 2015.

"It depends on when such goals were set: before or after the crisis. If it was before crisis, it is understandable that the figures will be unrealistic and hardly possible to reach. The 15-percent growth will be hard to achieve in case of the economic crisis. Most probably, this target will have to be reconsidered," he noted.

According to him, most of the global investment promotion agencies, that are part of the association, are pessimistic about restoration of pre-crisis investment volumes. "WAIPA polled all the agencies around the world on the time required to reach the pre-crisis level of investments. The majority replied that this will take 3 to 5 years after 2012. But the majority also believe a pessimistic scenario, which will take even more time, is very likely" he said noting that the majority of pessimistic agencies are located in developed countries.

According to Kairat Karmanov, deputy chairman of the National Egency of Export and Investments KAZNEX INVEST of Kazakhstan Ministry of Industry and New Technologies, "last year for the first time Kazakhstan attracted more direct foreign investments to the non-energy sector than to its energy sector".

"This is a very good result in 20 years of independence: over 58-percent growth in non-energy sector. We are not that pessimistic about the global financial crisis. We think that, while it becomes more difficult for European companies to work in Europe and the business environment is becoming tougher there, the business conditions in Kazakhstan are improving every year, on the contrary.

We know that investors from Greece and Italy are ready to move to new markets in Kazakhstan, Russia and other CIS countries. It is a crisis for them and an opportunity for us. We have to use this chance. That's why we are optimistic," he stressed. Net inflow of direct foreign investments in Kazakhstan in 2011 grew 22 percent up compared to 2010, exceeding $13.1 billion.

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