Investment flow into Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan has paid lip service to becoming a clean energy, technology, and innovation hub in Central Asia (AAXJ) (VPL) for many years. Increasingly, the aim is taking hold. The economy has already received $1 billion in loans from the EBRD (European Bank for Reconstruction and Development) towards environmental management and clean energy projects. It has also become one of the EBRD’s largest markets, with the total investment to date exceeding $8 billion.
China’s OBOR playing a major role
The economy is also on course to upgrade its transportation system — financially supported to a good extent by Chinese investment. Kazakhstan’s geographic positioning offers it tremendous trade advantage. Geographically, this landlocked country is sandwiched between Russia (RSX), China (FXI) (YINN) and the Middle East (UAE) (GULF). By joining China’s Belt & Road Initiative (also known as the ‘One Belt, One Road’ program), Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev is looking to leverage upon the countries which it bridges the gaps between.
The Belt & Road Initiative is a geo-strategic project of new transport links between 65-nations spread across Asia (AAXJ) (VPL), Europe (VGK) (EZU) and Africa (EZA). Currently in its planning stage up until 2021, projects under the initiative are expected to be implemented by 2049.
China’s Silk Road and Nurly Zhol are a perfect blend
Kazakhstani Deputy Foreign Minister Roman Vassilenko believes that China’s OBOR initiative blends perfectly into Kazakhstan’s very own and industrious $21 billion Nurly Zhol (Bright Path) initiative. The two programs together provide a vision of how trade should be recreated along the ancient Silk Road. The Nurly Zhol is Kazakhstan’s development program, extending beyond infrastructure to include energy, finance, housing, education and health care.
“As the world’s largest landlocked country, we naturally want better connections with other parts of the world through transport-logistics linkages, so that our products can reach the world faster and safer,” said Vassilenko.