Kazakhstan in the BRI: infrastructures, investments and special economic zones

Kazakhstan has been rising  in the last years as one of the most developed countries in Central Asia thanks to its favourable geographical location and the fast development of new commercial routes. The country is an essential crossroad for the Belt & Road Initiative, the local government, along with AIIB and other foreign investors, is working on the construction of many infrastructures, with dozens of projects worthing $ 3 billion.

Among them the Khorgos Gateway along the Chinese the border, which is one of the most important crossing  points of the new silk road. 65 trains per day cross the gateway and by 2020, 16,000 containers are forecasted every 24 hours. Another project related to the Belt & Road Initiative is the buildup of the Kuryk seaport on the Caspian Sea. The seaport is still under construction and will include also an airport, it is located near the city of Aktau where there will be ferries to Russia, Azerbaijan and Iran.
Many projects concern railway lines. At the moment  there are five international railway corridors crossing the country: the North Trans-Asian Railway linking China to Europe through Russia; the Southern Trans-Asian Railway, to the  Black Sea; the North-South Corridor, which crosses the country vertically by connecting Russia to the Indian Ocean; the Trans-Siberian railway, which runs across the continent, and finally the TRACECA corridor that connects  the Central Asian countries with those of the Caucasus.

In addition to logistics terminals, many special economic areas are emerging by the railway traffic areas. The first, opened in 2001, is the mixed one of Astana. Over time, a dozen of SEZs grew up, sometimes specialized  in a single production sector: Ontustik is a textile center, Saryarka specialized in metallurgy, while Taraz, Pavlodar and the National Petrochemical Park in the Atyrau region are specialized in the chemical industry.

The country is open to foreign investments and the establishment of a local company can bring several benefits. By 2016, for example, the government guarantees loans up to 30% of the value of the investment in addition to tax exemptions on the import of raw materials and machinery, upon signing a contract with the Local Investment Committee. Kazakhstan has bilateral free trade agreements with 48 nations, and its President, Nursultan Nazarbayev, has promoted the Eurasian Economic Union and its common market.

If you are interested to contact the Kazakh Investment Committee or if you need further information, please contact us at info@easternational.it


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