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Kazakhstan mulling investment ombudsman

13 december 2011, 14:15
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Photo courtesy of ts.1in.kz
Photo courtesy of ts.1in.kz
There will be an investment ombudsman, Tengrinews.kz reports referring to the chair of the investment committee of the Ministry of Industry and Technologies (MIT) of Kazakhstan Asylkhan Serikov.

“This is part of the national plan (on attracting investments), one of its provisions is that there will be a special committee led by the head of the government that we call “an ombudsman.” What is an ombudsman? – It is a defender of rights. There is a human rights ombudsman, and here we have an investments ombudsman, i.e. all the issues related to investment activities involving foreign partners will be directly dealt with by this committee. This is a collegiate body. We believe it is appropriate that it will be headed by the prime minister, this is being considered already,” Serikov shared his views with Tengrinews.kz on the sidelines of 2011 Kazakh-American investment forum in New York.

The chair of the investments committee of the MIT of Kazakhstan gave other details of the national plan on attracting investments. For example, it is expected that large-scale projects will be operated in a so called special regime.

“There will be a special regime for strategic investment projects, exceeding 50 billion dollars,” Asylkhan Serikov elaborated on the national plan. “Or for a high-tech industry or innovations project. All decisions on assigning a special regime status to a project are taken by the government. The investors receive many privileges. Then the purchase is guaranteed by the state. That means the companies that are part of Samruk Kazyna Fund (or private sector companies) purchase goods and services primarily from producers created with the use of foreign investments, therefore the sales are guaranteed as well. Furthermore there is creation of favorable conditions for foreign investments, with a range of preferences, first and foremost is simplifying visa procedures now beiong introduced by OECD companies, including the U.S. companies.”

According to Serikov, they will establish so called inventors’ service centers similar to population service centers in regions of Kazakhstan. The centers will aim to assist foreign businesses in oblasts and cities. They will be staffed with English-speaking personnel.

2011 Kazakh-American Investment Forum was held on 7 December in New York. It was organized by Samruk Kazyna national welfare fund.

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