Image credit via EEAS European Union
In the framework of the EU funded Programme Central Asia Invest - Policy Component - implemented by the OECD, the first workshop on “Enhancing the Legal Environment for Business in Central Asia – focus on Kazakhstan” took place today in Nur-Sultan. The event was dedicated to define priority areas of the legal environment which have a direct impact on the business climate and support further their development by the Government in a way which is conducive to investments. Representatives of the Government of Kazakhstan and relevant business associations intervened and got acquainted with the methodology, the planning of activities and participated in initial input to the program.
The event was opened by EU Ambassador to Kazakhstan H.E. Mr Sven-Olov Carlsson, Vice-Minister of National Economy Mr Zhaslan Madiyev and Vice-Minister of Justice Ms Akerke Akhmetova. Ambassador Carlsson highlighted that the EU attaches great importance to boosting investments in Central Asia as a way to strengthen resilience and enhance prosperity. He mentioned that the EU will launch three new regional programmes which will tackle the most critical elements of such development strategy in Central Asia and will cover trade, rule of law as well as investments and private sector development. The event will take place on 27-29 November in Nur-Sultan.
Though at an early stage of the project, a number of key findings were taken from the session. These included the need to ensure effective implementation of the 2015 Entrepreneurship Code, the need to make progress on the application of economic justice, and possibly remove sector-specific legal restrictions on Foreign Direct Investment. It was also noteworthy that government stakeholders were more readily willing to recognise the policy issues raised during the workshop.
In terms of next steps, a first report will be prepared between now and the spring 2020, when a second workshop will take place to test the findings. In March 2020, ministers from Kazakhstan and other Central Asian countries will convene during Eurasia Week 2020, discuss the findings and define what the priority reforms should be for each country. In 2020-2021, the OECD will advise on the implementation of these reforms.
The Central Asia Invest (CAI) – Policy Component is an EU funded Project implemented by the OECD. The objective of the CAI policy component - with an overall budget of 5 Mio – is to support Central Asian governments’ reform process towards an environment conducive to investments and development of private sector.