The Government meeting chaired by Prime Minister Bakytzhan Sagintayev considered the package of measures to address the systematic problems of developing special economic zones in Kazakhstan.
Minister of Investments and Development Zhenis Kassymbek reported that a number of systemic problems have been identified based on the results of the analysis of SEZ activities, among which are the low pace of infrastructure construction, poor management performance, problems with the application of benefits, long terms of land acquisition and sectoral restrictions in the SEZ.
In order to fill and improve the quality of projects, a strategy is developed for the further development and filling of each SEZ. In addition, it is planned to provide a budget program for the management companies under Akimats, in which Akimats will finance their activities at the initial stage of development, that is, before filling the critical mass of investors for SEZ (3-5 years).
In addition, it is planned to optimize the mechanisms of tax administration of SEZ participants for providing tax and other benefits. Also, currently there is a bill in the Parliament that will speed up the adoption of decisions on new projects not included in priority activities. It is also planned to provide for a simplified procedure for obtaining land plots and other permits.
According to the Ministry of Investments and Development, the country has 10 SEZ in the area of manufacturing industry with different sectoral orientation. The SEZ regime allowed to found the last-generation logistical cluster “Khorgos – Eastern Gate”, to create railway engineering in Astana, to revive the textile industry in SEZ “Ontustyk” and lay the foundations for a chemical and petrochemical cluster in the SEZ “Chempark Taraz ” and “NINT”.
Today, 154 projects have been launched on the territories of SEZ, 651 billion tenge has been invested, over 11 600 jobs have been created. More than 107 billion tenge was returned to the budget in the form of taxes. For every budget tenge expended for infrastructure, participants have invested more than 2 tenge. This year it is planned to launch another 24 projects, creating 3 thousand new jobs.
The business community’s position on this matter was voiced by Chairman of NCE “Atameken” Ablay Myrzakhmetov. Reports were also made by Akims of Mangystau, South Kazakhstan, Karaganda, Pavlodar, Kyzylorda regions and Almaty. Chairman of the Board of Samruk-Kazyna Umirzak Shukeyev reported on the construction of infrastructure in SEZ.