Almaty Investment Forum 2019 held in the southern capital
The main goal of the forum is to increase the investment attractiveness of Almaty.
Over 700 representatives of business interest registered to participate in the forum, of which 142 - foreign ones and 126 - representatives of international companies in Kazakhstan.
Akim of Almaty Bakhytzhan Sagintayev held a number of bilateral meetings, including CEO of Mitsui & Co.Moscow Meguro Hiroshi and President of Japan System Planning Co., LTD Kumano Kasuyuki; Jonathan Wotzel, Senior Partner and Director of the McKinsey & Company Global Institute; Jochen Berbner, Managing Partner of McKinsey & Company in Kazakhstan. In addition, Akim of Almaty B.Sagintayev met with Lord Peter Lilly a member of the House of Lords, ex-Minister of Commerce and Industry, ex-Minister of Social Security of Great Britain.
The forum signed 31 agreements and memorandums of cooperation and understanding between government agencies and business communities amounting to $ 2.3 billion.
In particular, a Memorandum of Cooperation and Consultations on mutually interesting issues was signed to achieve common goals between the Akimat of Almaty and the Astana International Financial Center. In addition, memorandum on mutual understanding under preliminary agreement on financing the Green Cities project between the Akimat of Almaty and the EBRD amounting to $ 11.3 million.
Moreover, Almaty Akim Bakhytzhan Sagintayev noted that the forum is taking place at a historic moment when the agenda for the development of Almaty for the next 30 years is being formed. The Development Strategy of Almaty until 2050 was developed, which was put up for wide discussion by citizens. The main goal is to enter the top 100 best cities in the world in terms of quality of life and business opportunities.
“This requires a solid economic foundation. The urban economy should develop at least 5% per year. To ensure this growth, we are beginning a deep structural reform of the urban economy. The bet is on the sectors of the new economy. Our structural maneuver opens up crucially new fields for investment” - said Akim B.Sagintayev.
According to him, the ultimate goal of the structural maneuver is to develop export production, expand the presence of Almaty manufacturers in the global high-tech economy. Only in this way, the city will receive a new model of economic growth that is competitive on the global stage.
In the near future, the growth of Almaty will be polycentric and will concentrate in several zones in different parts of the city. Updating urban infrastructure opens up a new field for investment in the next 5 years. Only the “New Almaty” plan assumes unprecedented investments in the amount of 834.5 billion tenge. At a current exchange rates, this is 2 billion 155 million dollars.
During the plenary sessions, several issues of Almaty New Investment Opportunities for cooperation, development of the “smart cities” concept, the trends of the real estate market and new challenges of modern cities were considered. At the same time, discussions held on the topics “Future growth sectors and the development of innovations in Almaty”, “Geo-economics of large infrastructure projects: Almaty in the heart of the Great Silk Road”.
There was also a Round Table Discussion on possibilities and prospects of private investments in education, science and health. Additionally, some issues of tourism development discussed. For the forum participants, the presentation of Almaty as a New International Center for Tourism took place.
As the Managing Partner of McKinsey & Company in Kazakhstan, Jochen Berbner, noted that Kazakhstan has all opportunities for development of tourism, especially in such fast-growing niche segments as ecotourism, sports and business tourism. According to him, Almaty belongs to the top tourist destinations in the country due to the picturesque nature, warm climate and developed infrastructure.
“Due to its geographical location, Almaty has a great chance to attract tourists from those countries whose population is now actively investing in travel, in particular from China, India, and Russia. Kazakhstan has adopted a State Industry Development Program with ambitious and achievable targets. The main goal is to strictly and consistently adhere to the strategy and fulfill the plans” - said J.Berbner.
The geography of the forum is represented by such countries as the United Arab Emirates, Japan, the USA, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Great Britain, Russia, China, Korea, Austria, Germany and others.
In addition, the forum was attended by representatives of International companies in Kazakhstan, namely EBRD, EUROBAK, ADB, World Bank, Bank of China in Kazakhstan, MUFG Bank, Tengri Bank, Al Hilal Bank, Mitsubishi, EY, PwC, KPMG, Samsung, Nokia, Sun Pharma, BASF CA, Philip Morris International, CNPC Chevron et al.