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Memorandums have been done for half a billion dollars at the international forum "Almaty Invest"
29 november 2018

The annual international investment forum “Almaty Invest” has been in Almaty. 500 delegates have visited there from different countries, including the powerful politicians, Kazakhstan and the world’s business leaders, the directors of investment corporations, financial institutions and international organizations.

By welcoming the forum participants, which has become a traditional platform for investment opportunity’s discussion and business contacts, Almaty’s governor Bauyrzhan Baybek mentioned that in previous forums more than 40 memoranda worth $ 1 billion were signed. 12 projects of them have already been realized for 400 millions.

“Almaty is one of the highly developed megacities in Central Asia with an economy of $ 35 billion. Thanks to the policy of President Nursultan Nazarbayev, during the years of independence, the city’s economy has increased for 100 times. The city gives a fifth of GDP and a quarter of the country's taxes. International companies invest actively in the city. For 10 years, investments have been attracted for $ 22.2 billion, investments have risen for 21% only in this year, including 24% foreign ones of them ”said Bauyrzhan Baybek.

Today, 86% of the city’s economy is trade and services, the small and medium-sized businesses deposit are more than 40%, that is, it is a stable economy independent of oil. One third of the largest taxpayer companies in Kazakhstan, more than 30 transnational companies, 90% of banks head offices, 43% of joint enterprises and large international organizations are there. A new building for 14 UN specialized agencies has opened recently.

The governor of Almaty noted that the city’s development was based on the global vision by the realization of local reforms and was focused on the best world practices, including the UN Sustainable Development Goals and OECD standards. Together with the UNDP and the French company Systra, a modern transport reform has been developed, the Smart Almaty concept has been developed with the American company IDC. In turn, the Master Plan development of the city is done by the support of the Canadian-American company HATCH.

“Today, more than 10% of the population of Kazakhstan lives in Almaty, and together with the Almaty agglomeration it is about 3 million people. According to the international consultants, the population is expected to rise by almost 2 times in 2035. In the next 15 years, we have to supply an annual economic growth at least 5%, create more than 700 thousand jobs in the intellectual sectors with high added value and export potential, and also increase labor productivity by at least 2 times. We intend to supply citizens with social infrastructure within walking distance on the principle of polycentricity. At the beginning of next year, the concept of the Master Plan for the Development of the City will be declared in an open access. An every citizen and a business representative will be able to read it and give his suggestions,”said the city’s governor.

During his speech, Bauyrzhan Baybek also said that the city has identified promising sectors, as well as priority development zones. Given the availability of land, construction in Turksib, Zhetysu, Alatau districts is promising. According to forecasts, an additional 70 square kilometers of residential, social, industrial, office and retail space will be required. This year alone, more than 2 million square meters of housing will be built in the city, including the 7-20-25 program.

In addition, he separately focused on the main priorities of the development of the metropolis, such as the modernization of urban infrastructure, public spaces, the implementation of transport reform, tourism development, and also told the forum participants and potential investors about the benefits of doing business in Almaty.

“In Almaty it is profitable to build a business in terms of capital and operating costs. The development of the city is done by the principles of a transit-oriented approach and “people to infrastructure”. The land plots with ready transport and engineering infrastructure are provided by the favorable terms, ”said Bauyrzhan Baybek.

The recommended platform is the Industrial Zone on an area of 490 hectares, where more than 40 large projects for 600 million dollars are being realized. Nowadays, an every tenge of state investment is equal for 5 tenge of private investment.

In the Free Economic Zone “Park of Innovative Technologies”, favorable conditions have been created for high-tech companies on an area of 163 hectares. There is a simplified procedure for hiring workers, there are customs and tax incomes. The FEZ can become a cluster for precision engineering, medicine, biotechnology.

“In realization of the Missive of the Head of State, we are actively developing the" economy of simple things. "For example, at the end of the year, KazTigerTape projects for the production of scotch tape and layer, KELET for the construction of gas boilers, the Inter Multi Service for Cardboard and Paper Production factory will be started, ”said Bauyrzhan Baybek.

Special attention is paid to the infrastructure project’s realization in the transport sector. About 700 thousand cars move in the city and according to expert estimates, the daily losses of the Almaty economy from traffic jams amount to more than 600 million tenge or almost 2% of the GRP per year.

"Therefore, comprehensive transport reform is aimed at improving the quality of public transport, improving the environment and reducing costs for business," said the city’s governor.

Over the past 10 years, more than 30 road connections have been built in the city, the three more of them will be done in future.It will end the formation of a small ring road.

Besides it, on the principles of PPP, construction of the Big Almaty Ring Road has started. This large-scale project worth about $ 1.4 billion will make the city a node in the “Western Europe - Western China” transport corridor. Unload the city by almost 40 thousand cars per day. Serving this large project creates a good investment for service companies.

Began reconstruction of two railway stations. Due to private investment, it is planned to modernize the airport with an increase in throughput of 2.5 times up to 13 million passengers per year.

For the first time in the country, the BRT line was organized, reducing travel time by 32% for public transport. The Falcon Eurobus plant for the assembly of electric buses of 3 generations, which has received international certification, has been opened. The largest projects for investment in transport are the metro and LRT. Under the PPP mechanism together with the EBRD, the first stage of the competition for the LRT project with a length of 23 km is being done. The start of only two new metro stations will allow to increase passenger traffic twice to 86 thousand per person. per day.

“We are systematically modernizing the urban environment according to the principle“ A city for people ”. According to the modern standards, two-thirds of the historic center has been modernized, sidewalks and green areas are enlarging. In the new pedestrian streets, the attendance of establishments increased by 40%, the turnover increased by 1.5 times. In addition, we are actively using the smart technology. Simplified all procedures of interaction with the state. In Almaty, it is possible to conduct business without paperwork - by opening an enterprise on the Internet, issue invoices, conduct banking operations, submit tax returns, agree on a construction permit, draft design, conclude an agreement on connecting to electricity, ”said Baibur Baybek

According to Kazpost, today the city has more than half of all electronic commerce in the country, with annual growth of 55%, 47% of the turnover of online stores and 64% of non-cash payments. Formed by Big Data. So in the recent UN ranking on the development of e-government Almaty took the 25th place.

The governor of the city noted that in addition to improving legislation and introducing new technologies, important factors in attracting the city to private investment, including foreign investments, are a comfortable urban environment, developed service and high quality of human capital.

“We have a unique nature and excellent opportunities for outdoor activities. Alpine skating rink Medeu is famous all over the world. Shymbulak recognized as the best ski resort in the CIS. It offers more than 2 thousand restaurants, 237 hotels and hostels, 20 museums, 19 theaters, 14 exhibitions and galleries and 128 shopping and entertainment centers.

Almaty is already a regional center of tourism, every 2nd foreign tourist visiting Kazakhstan visits the city, ”said Bauyrzhan Baybek.

At present, a master plan of mountain locations of Almaty agglomeration is being developed. According to international experts, its implementation will allow to increase the length of ski slopes 5.5 times to 237 km, the number of tourist skiers 6 times to 46 thousand, to build about 500 km of mountain trails for trekking, hiking, etc.

The city holds about 1,000 conferences, seminars and other business events. For the development of business tourism, it is planned to build an exhibition complex with a congress center with a total built-up area of 15 thousand square meters.

More than 50 international sporting events, festivals of jazz, classical and ethnic music are held annually. Many events have become branded and famous abroad - “Tour Almaty”, “Almaty Marathon”, international festival “Star of Asia”, Almaty Film Festival. An important factor in attracting tourists and investors is the high quality of medical services. Due to competitive prices at high quality, services in plastic, cardio, neuro and vascular surgery, dentistry, and reproductive medicine are in demand by tourists.

It should be mentioned that a distinctive feature of the current forum was a program of events, developed entirely according to the recommendations of entrepreneurs and investors. The program was prepared after the survey among 1000 delegates last year and members of the board of investors.

On the margins of the forum, a fair of franchising projects was held, where all interested entrepreneurs could get acquainted with with projects in the “ready business” format, as well as the Almaty Innovation Festival, which included an exhibition of innovative start-ups. For all forum participants, a series of master classes from innovators and investors from Silicon Valley was organized, including BootUp accelerator founder Mukul Agarwal and partner of the venture fund Mohr Davidow Ventures.

As a result of the forum, the memorandums for $ 480 million were signed, including the construction of a new pharmaceutical plant, financial, social and business center "Down town Almaty".

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