A Kazakh lesson for Romania about how to improve the investment climate


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Some amendments were recently made to the Kazakh legislation allowing the government to sign investment agreements and provide benefits in line with them, such as a 30 percent reimbursement of capital costs.

In this context, the representatives of National Export & Investment Agency KAZNEX INVEST under the Ministry of Investment and Development of the Republic of Kazakhstan visit these days Romania to advertise these changes, and attract investors to Kazakhstan.

“Those who want to invest in Kazakhstan, including Romanian companies, are exempt from taxes on land and income tax for 10 years and, as regards the other taxes, the exemption is for eight years. All equipment brought in Kazakhstan is exempt from customs duties, as well as raw materials and spare parts, for a 3-5 years period. Also, it provides a preferential level of workforce taxation during the contract and for one year from commissioning,” Yerlan Muratov, Managing Director of KAZNEX INVEST, stated on Monday, attending the conference “Business Opportunities in Kazakhstan; Investments and Partnership” organized by the Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan in Romania and the Bilateral Chamber of Commerce and Industry Romania – Kazakhstan (CBCIROKAZ). He also talked about the advantages of special economic zones (SEZ) and the priority directions of cooperation, considering that a company can be established now in three days.

He also mentioned the low cost of electricity and labor force, and VAT rate of 12 percent. According to the Kazakh official, KAZNEX INVEST can help companies in the relationship with local authorities and can assist them to find local partners.

“Our agency offers even help to obtain visa. Now, there are 19 states that do not need visa, but those in Romania have a preferential regime for getting visa, without the need of invitation,”  Muratov.

He also said that the sanctions imposed to Russia by the European Union can mean an opportunity, given that Russia massively imports from Kazakhstan, especially food, chicken, pork and beef as well as vegetables and fruits. According to the United Nations, Kazakhstan ranks first in terms of agro-natural potential.

“Thus, Kazakhstan is a transit country for goods from huge markets such as Russia and China to Europe,” the official Kaznex Invest said.

“Kazakhstan’s potential is huge. It would be helpful if the investments we want to make in Kazakhstan not to be done alone, but by a consortium of Romanian companies in different fields to work on the Kazakh market,” Aurelian Gogulescu, Vicepresident at representation level of CCIR and also the President of the Prahova CCI noted.

In his turn, Petru Lificiu, CBCIROKAZ President pointed out that there is an equilibrium in Kazakhstan given its strategic position and the natural resources it holds

“Romania’s presence in Kazakhstan would be considered one of the developed technologies,” Lificiu said.

Romania is among the most important top trade partners of Kazakhstan with 1.9 percent and an important importer – 2.9 percent, according to the Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan in Romania data.

However, Romanian – Kazakh bilateral trade at end-2015 stood at USD 1,163.7 million, down from USD 3,164 million at December 31, 2014.

Imports from Kazakhstan are 99.8 percent crude oil, the rest representing chemical fertilizers (USD 1.2 million).

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