Kazakhs target

Nino Arveladze

“Caucasian corridor towards Europe and Mediterranean becomes very important for us, Georgia is our active partner”- announces the President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbaev

In the first three quarter of 2006 Kazakh investors made about $142 million investment on Georgian market. In 2006 Kazakhstan became Georgia’s major investor. In 2007, President Nursultan Nazarbaev during the meeting with Mikhail Saakashvili declared that, for recent years Kazakhstan made nearly $300 million investment in Georgia. Why is Kazakhstan so interested in Georgian market? Georgian government announces that Kazakhs are deeply charmed with our Geographic location and transparent fiscal policy, this mostly concerns Communication, tourism, financial and transport sectors.
Georgian government declares tourism to be the top priority sector and tries to make it the most rapidly growing sector of economics. The development of tourism with other infrastructure needs expensive hotels. Kazakh Immovable Property Development Company will construct 170 rooms Raddison Hotel in Georgia, investment is $100 million. Development belongs to Kazakh Bank TuranAlem that plans to reconstruct several hotels in Batumi, it will nearly cost $200 million.
Georgia and Kazakhstan are considered to be friends and partners; Georgia is also a way leading to Europe for Kazakhstan. On the other hand Kazakhstan has capital which is possible to invest on a perspective market. From 2005 Kazakhstan actively started to invest Georgia. Kazakhstan examined Georgia pragmatically and aspired with the help of it to appear in the list of the World’s 10 mostly developed countries. In the beginning of 1990s existed the idea of transporting Kazakhstan’s natural resources through Black Sea, but this idea managed to exist till the end of that year. The name of the project was “South Energetic Corridor”, but Georgia’s President of that time Edward Shevardnadze and Nazarbaev could not managed to agree to several issues.
In 2005 Kazakhstan’s biggest bank Turan Alem bought the 49% of Silk Road Bank’s controlling pack and established BTA Silk Road Bank in Tbilisi. The Bank Turan Alem was the first Kazakh investor in Georgia. Mostly Kazakhs are interested in immovable property, telecommunication and tourism. Kazakh investor Development Solution is interested in Ajarian hotels and fulfils $200 million investment, it also has 80% of Georgia’s communication system.
In 2006 Kazakh Company “Kaztransgas” wins the tender and buys Tbilisi gas Distribution Company with $12.5 million. Now company is called “Kaztransgas Tbilisi” and declares that it would regulate city’s gas system for the year of 2011, which would cost $80 million. Though according to the recently spread rumors, Kazakhs decided to sell the company to Azerbaijan, but still no one confirms officially this information.
In December of 2006 “Kaztransgastbilisi” buys 50% of Batumi oil terminal. Kazakhstan plans to supply European market with oil from the port of Aktau (the western region of Kazahstan) through Baku port and Black Sea with the help of Georgia.
In the background of Georgian Russian tensed relationship, do Kazakh investors consider their capital to be in danger? Or are they trying to favor Russia and make fewer investments in Georgia and even examine the already done ones?
Still in October of 2006 analysts announced that, in spite of significant investments done in Georgia’s economy, Kazakhstan would be forced to draw in Russia’s side. Georgian Russian tensed relationship had its effect on CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) countries. Kazakh analysts considered that the tensed relationship between the two countries would have negative influence on Kazakhstan and their millions might appear in danger, they mostly worried about investments done in Energy sector.
Kazakhstan badly depends on Russia, it can not (or does not want) to supply its gas to destination (Europe) without Russia.
And still, will Nazarbaev turn over from West, Georgia so sharply? Where is the oriental wisdom and strategic view? The year of 2008 will be the year of formation Central Asia’s final scenario towards Europe. We think that Europe will also have to change its Policy and approaches towards Central Asia. How did we manage to leave all countries for Russia? We want this to be only a kind of hysterical attitude, but what about facts?!