Experts on effectiveness of SEZ
Majority of inefficient Special Economic Zones in Kazakhstan should be closed, leaving only a few profitable and promising ones. In general, the implementation of projects should be approached comprehensively, taking into account their long-term and favorable effect on the domestic economy. This was stated by the expert of the Institute of World Economy and Politics Magbat Spanov. He noted that the organization of Special Economic Zones is too costly for the country's budget, and therefore the attention of the Head of State to this issue is appropriate and timely. The IWEP representative also indicated that the products of Kazakh entrepreneurs produced in SEZ should, first of all, cover the needs of the country, and then be imported to the foreign market.
“I understand the concern of the country's leadership, because a lot of money is spent on the creation of such zones. According to the rule, the state should take onto itself the entire infrastructure, and business should just enter and establish some enterprises, companies, and it doesn’t always pay off. From one point of view, of course, the formulation of the question is correct. The government, the country's leadership is trying to find measures of a possible filling of the budget, that is, the creation of those mechanisms that will allow money to stay in the country, and there will be no capital flight. I think, like any problem in Kazakhstan, it is timely and it requires an individual solution,” said Magbat Spanov, an expert of the Institute of World Economics and Politics.
Earlier, the Head of State held an expanded meeting of the Government, where he clearly outlined a number of upcoming tasks. Kassym-Jomart Tokayev paid special attention to the question of finding means for economic growth. The President called the SEZ administration to order, for this he gave the government a month.
“I have repeatedly said that most Free Economic Zones have not become effective platforms for attracting investment. This is despite an impressive package of tax incentives of almost half a trillion tenge. What do we get in the end? Over the past three years, the volume of goods produced in the Free Economic Zones did not exceed 1.5 percent of GDP and the share of their exports is only 0.1 percent. It's time to put things in order,” said Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, President of Kazakhstan.
Translation by Aruzhan Bizhigitova
Editing by Galiya Khassenkhanova