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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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Trade policy and the impact of WTO entry

In 2015, after a 19-year long negotiation process, Kazakhstan joined the World Trade Organisation (WTO). The event has marked a milestone in the country’s trade reform process and cemented the trade liberalisation under way. Still, to help reduce high trade costs faced by firms and overcome the geographical disadvantage related to the country’s landlocked position, further reforms are necessary, in particular in the area of trade facilitation and reducing regulatory barriers to trade. Closer economic integration via deep free trade agreements (FTAs) as well as committed domestic reform and investment in infrastructure will play an important role in this process.

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