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Investments to Kazakhstan will shrink with new president of France, or not?

08 мая 2012, 18:50
Investments to Kazakhstan may shrink after inauguration of the new President of France Francois Hollande, political experts Marat Shibutov and Rassul Zhumaly told Tengrinews.kz.

According to Shibutov, it is still unclear how French economy will be developing, but the investment approach of the country will possibly change. The expert added that more exact forecasts could be made after 100 days of Hollande being a president, when his policies are cleared defined. Earlier Shibutov named the sectors of Kazakhstan's economy that France invested into most heavily: oil and uranium industry, nuclear energy, nonferrous metallurgy, engineering, pharmaceutics and production of construction materials.

Zhumaly explained the possible reasons behind a decrease in the investments. “Currently, when the external debt of France is nearing its GDP and when austerity measures are on the agenda and social tensions are raising (by the way, social tensions have become the main factor propelling Hollande into power), I think that the majority of efforts will be aimed at recovery and “revival” of French internal economy,” the expert said.

Zhumaly noted that to fulfill Hollande's election promises, France would have to implement several economic reforms. “Most probably we can expect that France and French business community will scrap investment activities outside the country and more funds will be tunneled into the local development processes and resolving of social issues. That’s why it is quite possible that some of those major projects Kazakhstan has with France may be suspended,” Zhumaly said.

Political expert Dossym Satpayev expressed a contrary opinion. “We have to consider that political changes in France have no direct or crucial impact on Kazakhstan, even though France is one of our major strategic and trade partners in the European Union. Even elections in the U.S. that frequently have more global resonance have little effect on Kazakhstan,” the expert said.

Satlayev thinks that French investment policy, established before Hollande and Sarkozy, will not undergo any significant changes. The projects that France implements in Kazakhstan will keep moving forward, as they have high strategic value for both countries. “Opinions of the politicians and interests of business structures are two separate things. French business structures are quite influential and large. By the way, many of them are transnational. They frequently play their own games with their own rules, regardless of the statements of the politicians,” Satpayev said.

Socialist Francois Hollande was elected the new president of France winning the second round of elections over incumbent president Nicolas Sarkozy. After calculation of 80 percent of votes, Hollande scored 51.13 percent of the votes. Sarkozy gained support of 48.87 percent of voters.

By Dmitriy Khegai

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