Transfer of more land to foreigners in Kazakhstan shouldn't be alarming - expert

Astana, Kazakhstan, June 5

Trend:

It shouldn't be alarming that more land in Kazakhstan could be transferred to foreigners, Kazakh political scientist, head of World of Eurasia Public Foundation Eduard Poletayev told Trend.

The expert was commenting on the government's decision to increase the term of land rent by ten years for foreigners, during the period of investments, and also for the period of recoupment of capital investments that shouldn't be longer than 10 years.

Poletayev said there's no reason to panic, instead try to be pragmatic.

"Investing in agriculture is risky in Kazakhstan. Our agricultural production has always been a risky sphere for investments," he said.

The issue of transferring land to the foreigners, especially Chinese, is a sensitive issue in Kazakhstan, and is often circulated in the local media. Previously, it was reported that Kazakhstan used Argentina's experience for the purpose of renting the lands to the foreign companies and individuals.

"It's generally known that Chinese investors prefer to attract their countrymen in order to keep their country from overpopulation, however Kazakhstan's population is not big. However the problem is not that the Chinese will come and live in Kazakhstan, but the fact that we have these enormous free lands for farming and we cant properly organize food production there," he explained.

He noted that it is about attracting new technologies, not selling the agricultural lands.

"The Chinese showcases the best results for using the land in climatic conditions, which are far from being the best. And they manage to grow good crops," Poletayev noted. "For Kazakh government it is important to attract investors, which will be able, in time, to leave modern technologies in the country. This will allow to attract local farmers to the production."

He reminded, that the country allocates significant funds for supporting local agro-production, however that's not enough, thus modern production methods needs to be established in this sector.

"It's not just about the Chinese companies, there are also other countries, the technologies of which we have been successfully using, as those of Israel and Scandinavian countries," the expert noted.

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