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OECD Investment Policy Reviews: Kazakhstan 2017

image of OECD Investment Policy Reviews: Kazakhstan 2017

This review, which was prepared in response to Kazakhstan's 2012 request to adhere to the Declaration on International Investment and Multinational Enterprises (OECD Declaration), analyses the general framework for investment as well as most recent reforms, and shows where further efforts are necessary. It assesses Kazakhstan’s ability to comply with the principles of openness, transparency and non-discrimination and its policy convergence with the OECD Declaration, including responsible business conduct practices. Capitalising on the OECD Policy Framework for Investment, this review studies other policy areas that are of key relevance to investment such as SME policy, infrastructure development, trade policy as well as anti-corruption efforts. Since the first review of Kazakhstan, in 2012, the authorities have made strides in opening the country to international investment and in improving the policy framework for investment as part of their efforts to diversify the economy to avoid continued overreliance on oil. Additional policy measures are nevertheless required to create a stimulating environment for investment if the government wants to fulfil its goal of economic diversification and sustainable development.

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Executive summary

Between 2000 and 2011, supported by a sharp oil price increase beginning in 1999, Kazakhstan’s economy grew by an average of 8.4%, making the country one of the world’s fastest growing economies over the past decade. With the slump in oil prices, the contraction of the Russian economy and the economic slowdown of China, recent years have nevertheless been challenging for Kazakhstan, with real GDP growth slowing from 6% in 2013 to 1.2 % in 2015, and foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows falling by 52% from 2014 to 2015. With excessive reliance on oil, sluggish growth and the decrease of FDI flows, improving further the framework conditions for foreign investment has become among the authorities’ foremost priorities for boosting the diversification of the economy and improving citizens’ well-being.

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