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Kazakhstan 2012 | ECONOMY | FOCUS: SPECIAL ECONOMIC ZONES

Special economic zones have played a major role in Kazakhstan's economic diversification, as the government hopes that clustering will move national products up the value chain.


Kazakhstan has pioneered special economic zones (SEZs) since the early 2000s, aimed at boosting various sectors of the economy, including manufacturing, petrochemicals, and ICT.

Beginning in 2001 with the establishment of the Astana New City SEZ, 2011 saw three more zones opening up, including the Pavlodor SEZ, tailored for petrochemicals, and Khorgos-Eastern Gate and Saryarka for manufacturing. Today, there are nine SEZs across the country.

Members of the various SEZs enjoy corporate income tax exemption, a 0% rate for land and property tax, VAT exemptions on goods and services provided within SEZs, as well as VAT exemptions on construction and civil works for administrative and industrial facilities within SEZs, and a customs-free policy.

1 ASTANA NEW CITY

Established in 2001, Astana New City was conceived as a tool to speed up construction in the new capital, as well as encourage the development of manufacturing industries. The zone is spread over 5,900 hectares, and currently has 39 members.

2 SEAPORT AKTAU

The second SEZ to be established, Seaport Aktau has six members and is focused on the development of transport and logistics services. Spread over 2,000 hectares, infrastructure investment at the site totaled $5.7 billion and the site encourages high-tech and competitive industries.

3 INNOVATION TECHNOLOGY PARK

Founded in 2003, the Innovation Technology Park SEZ boasts 29 members, including Delta Plus, Alstrontelekom, Geoinformservis, and Nursat. Its aim is the development of technology and R&D facilities.

4 ONTUSTIK

The Ontustik SEZ was envisaged to cluster the cotton and textile industries, and currently has four members, including Oxy Textile, Hlopkoprom-Cellulose, and Utex-KZ.

5 NATIONAL INDUSTRIAL PETROCHEMICAL TECHNOLOGY PARK

Set up in 2007, the park is dedicated to the development of world-class petrochemicals. Spread over an area of 3,475 hectares, the park's sole occupier is Kazakhstan Petrochemical Industries Inc.

6 BURABAY

The only SEZ in the country dedicated to tourism, the park was decreed into existence in 2008, and is located in the Akmola region in the north of the country.

7 KHORGOS-EASTERN GATE

One of three SEZs to come into existence in 2011, Khorgos-Eastern Gate was designed to act as a storage and transport facility, as well as a base for food production, the manufacturing of leather and textiles, non-metal and mineral production, chemicals, and finished metal products.

8 SARYAKA

Also established in 2011, the Saryarka SEZ, near Karaganda, is for the metallurgical industry, the manufacture of finished metal products, machinery, equipment, vehicles, trucks, two-wheeled trailers, computers, electrical and optical products, and electrical equipment. It is also a hub for the chemical industry, rubber, and plastic, as well as building materials and non-metal mineral production.

9 PAVLODAR

Kazakhstan's latest SEZ, also established in 2011, is for chemicals production, petrochemicals, and accompanying manufacturers and technology companies.