Kazakhstan, the second largest mining and metals producer in the ex-Soviet Union after Russia, is seeking to spur growth by drawing in overseas investors to its resources sector. One of the key objectives of Kazakhstan’s economic policy is to enter the elite list of the world’s 30 most attractive investment jurisdictions by establishing an investment hub of the Central Asian region and to create favourable conditions for foreign investors to develop their business in Kazakhstan and neighbouring markets.

The impact of the new policies and initiatives on mining and investment prospects in Kazakhstan and across Central Asia will be discussed at the MINEX Central Asia Forum in Astana on March 17-19, 2015.

On December 30, 2014 President Nazarbaev signed the law ‘On Amendments and Additions to Certain Legislative Acts of the Country on Mineral Resources’ which is expected to stimulate inflow of foreign direct investment and business development in the fields of exploration. The new law specifically provides a simplified procedure for granting rights using the ‘first come - first served’ principle. The auction mechanism is introduced as a new method for selecting the winner.

In 2015 Kazakhstan is planning to award between 50 and 100 exploration licences. In response to the external economic challenges the new five-year Economic Policy ‘Nurly Zhol’ (Bright Path) was implemented by the Government of Kazakhstan on January 1, 2015. During the next three years, the government will spend about US$3 billion a year to fund the program’s various parts, which comprise structural projects aiming to boost economic growth and ensure socioeconomic stability. Created on January 1, 2015 the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) will undoubtedly enhance Kazakhstan’s economy and create new business opportunities for large international corporations and small mining companies alike.

Established in 2010 MINEX Central Asia Forum is recognized as one of the largest and most authoritative international events on mineral prospecting, exploration and mining in Kazakhstan and Central Asia. For the past five years, the forum has played a significant role in stimulating open discussion on emerging investment, technological and business partnerships in the mining sector as well as facilitating international dialogue between local governments, mining companies, service providers, equipment producers and investors.

Last year the MINEX Central Asia Mining and Exploration Forum in Astana attracted more than 350 senior mining executives, government officials, financial investors and consultants from more than 200 companies from 19 countries. This year the forum will once again provide an international platform for the discussion on the interplay of key factors which are driving changes and creating investment and business opportunities in Central Asia’s mining sector.

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