Despite the ban on the lease of agricultural land, Italian investors are ready to work in Kazakhstan

Despite the ban on the lease of agricultural land, Italian investors are ready to work in Kazakhstan

Prospects for investment cooperation in the agro-industrial complex were discussed at a Kazakh-Italian business forum, World of NAN reported.

At the beginning of the forum, Ruslan Manatayev, vice minister of agriculture of Kazakhstan, spoke about the advantages of doing business in the agricultural sector in the country.

"We have a program to subsidize investment costs, which involves reimbursement of up to 25% of investments. There are also preferential crediting and replenishment of circulating assets in agro-industrial complex", - said representative of the Ministry of Agriculture.

According to him, the country provides for the subsidizing of yield increases. This includes fertilizers, pesticides, seeds, irrigation water, as well as increasing the productivity of livestock.

"In addition to all this, the state has implemented a set of investment preferences. This is exemption from income and land taxes for 10 years and from property taxes for 8 years," added the vice-minister.

In addition, Vice-Minister listed the most promising industries in Kazakhstan, which are aimed at replacing imported products.

Representative of "KAZAKH INVEST" Zhandos Temirgali, in turn, provided an overview of investment opportunities in Kazakhstan.

"Our country has very rich natural resources. Due to the low production costs in the field of agriculture, availability of land resources, Kazakhstan is a favorable platform for the localization of production sites here. Plus the producers of Kazakhstan have direct access to the markets of the EAEC, western China, Central Asia, Russia and the Caspian countries," said a representative of KAZAKH INVEST.

Foreign investor Giuseppe Calcagni agreed with the words of Zhandos Temirgali about favorable conditions for business in Kazakhstan. The businessman has been engaged in production of dried fruits in our country for 5 years. Having 100-year history, the company headed by Calcagni is recognized as an international leader on dried fruits and nuts production. The company supplies its products to confectionery shops.

The businessman received 200 hectares of land for the orchards for fruit in Kazakhstan. Innovative equipment corresponding to international standards was brought to work, and high-yielding varieties of fruit are grown in the orchards.

According to the businessman, Kazakhstan has great potential in growing fruit and nut trees.

"Your country has the opportunity to use 5,000 hectares of land for orchards. Such an area can produce up to 15,000 tons of fruits and nuts. That's enough for domestic consumption, and some can be produced for export. There are huge opportunities for profit and export," says Mr. Calcagni.

In his speech the speaker also touched upon the issue of lease of agricultural lands by foreign companies, which is very pressing for all investors. According to the guest, it is very difficult to conduct business under the ban on land lease, in the sector directly related to the use of agricultural land. Such a situation provides no guarantees for the exclusion of risks and may hinder the entry of potential investors into the market.

Deputy Minister of Agriculture Ruslan Manatayev answered his question: "In fact, this is a pressing issue. Kazakhstan extended the moratorium on the acquisition and leasing of agricultural land to foreign companies for five years. However, the country has no ban on joint businesses in free economic zones, which can also be used for business in production and processing. Therefore, today we are ready to discuss any cases for development in this direction.

Alexander Maritano, executive director of SDF Group, also spoke on behalf of investors successfully doing business in Kazakhstan.

Founded in 1927, SDF is today one of the world leaders in the production of agricultural machinery. The company's annual turnover, according to Mr. Maritano, is 2.1 billion euros. SDF produces combine harvesters, tractors of different modifications, has 155 importers and 3000 branches around the world.

As the businessman noted in his speech, thanks to the support of the Government, the company had the opportunity to work in the market of Kazakhstan.

"We work together with "AgromashHolding KZ" in Kostanai. We help to assemble equipment for local farmers here, in their homeland. We want to increase the productivity of farmers, and as a consequence, the income. In the future, we see great prospects for development. Our purpose is to make the joint venture a driver of mechanical engineering in Kazakhstan", - foreign investor noted in his speech.

To date, according to the speaker, the production area has been increased and amounted to 26 thousand m2. As for development perspectives, Mr. Maritano emphasized that Italy considers Kazakhstan as a hub for work and joint cooperation with neighboring countries.  At the end of the forum, the guests thanked the organizers of the event and the Government of the country for creating a favorable climate for business and expressed readiness to work together to strengthen Kazakhstan's economy.

It should be noted that since 1992 Italian companies have invested in Kazakhstan about 9 billion US dollars. Today more than 270 enterprises with Italian capital are successfully working in the country.

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