Kazakhstan 2017 | ECONOMY | COLUMN

TBY talks to Gabidulla Abdrakhimov, Mayor of Shymkent, on the economy sector.

Gabidulla Abdrakhimov

What is your strategy to attract investors to Shymkent?

We are doing all we can. Building Shymkent City, which is a city within the city, will play a multifaceted role in the city's overall development, because to build something of this scale we need cement, concrete, plastic, wood, and so on. We have allocated more than 400ha for this project. It will be a modern residential and business district, with schools, kindergartens, polyclinics, and hospitals, for example. When I proposed this project, no one believed we could do it. Thankfully, the president and other government officers did, and we secured an initial investment of KZT30 billion. We opened a new "front office" so businessmen can get their documentation and tracking codes to follow up on the process online. It is warm and sunny here and construction is cheap because walls do not need to be as insulated as in Kazakhstan's other cities. Winter lasts only two months in Shymkent. Businessmen can build here and export to neighboring markets in Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, or Afghanistan. As the southernmost city, it is important for Shymkent to seize its potential as a gateway to the south for northern regions and vice versa.