Embassy of Kazakhstan


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 October 2019 
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Astana


General information

In 1832 on the banks of the Esil (also called Ishim) river, in the Qaraotkel woods, Akmolinsk outer military district was founded. As a result, Aqmola soon turned into a central point for trade livestock fairs.

The city was given its present name in 1998.

Until 1961 the name of the town was Akmolinsk
(in Kazakh Aqmola).

From 1961 to 1992 the city was named Tselinograd.

From 1992 till 1998 the name of the city was Aqmola.

The city is located in the north of Sary Arqa (in Kazakh Yellow Highlands), on the right bank of the Esil river. In 1998 the city area comprised over 300 sq. km. But nowadays city boundaries are expanding very fast.

Astana is a major centre of activity and hub of national and international transport links. The extensive traffic is mainly due to strong economic ties between South and Central Kazakhstan, Western Siberia and the Ural region, the Volga region and Central Russia.

The distance between Astana and Almaty is 1,318 km.

By 1998 Astana had around 300 000 population. During the last years its population is growing rapidly. In the year 2006 the number of Astana population reached about 600 000 people. It is expected that in the near future the population will be increasing further due to intra- and inter-territorial migration.

Basic reasons for the move of the capital to Astana and objectives of the Astana Special Economic Zone are the following:

  • Advantageous geopolitical location of the city in the centre of the country;
  • Considerable industrial potential in Astana;
  • The existence of essential resources for subsequent development of construction industry;
  • Location in the largest transport junction and availability of essential transport and telecommunication infrastructure;
  • The availability of highly skilled urban workforce;
  • The existence of a large private sector and potentialities for entrepreneurship development;
  • Political and social stability in the region;
  • The availability of free lands for further urban development.

 

But together with a set of economic, geographical, environmental, demographical etc. reasons for moving the capital to Astana one of the most important underlying reasons is a sincere attempt to build a new city which will represent the new face and image of a modern, economically stable and prosperous, democratically viable Kazakhstan looking into the future.

Astana is the City of the Future

Astana is the new capital of the Independent Republic of Kazakhstan. In 1997 the President of the Republic made the decision to relocate the capital of the country from Almaty to Akmola city. This was a historical decision motivated by the advantageous geographical and political location of the city in the heart of the country and at the intersection of the country’s main transport routes This decision has determined the future development of our new State.

During the historical inauguration ceremony for the new Kazakhstan capital the President of the Republic declared: “From now on any major decisions important for the future of the people will be made here in the centre of this colossal country. Now the heart of our motherland is beating here. Kazakhstan is making and defining its history and destiny here and today.”

In 1998 the decision was made to change the name of the new capital Akmola to Astana, which translates from the Kazakh language as “capital”. At the present time the city of Astana is growing, changing, gaining power and enhancing its international prestige and reputation, becoming the symbol of the rapid renovation of Kazakhstan.

 

The capital is growing very rapidly as the administrative and business centre of Kazakhstan in accordance with the original concept of the social and economic development of the city. The theme of this concept is “The blossoming of Astana is the blossoming of Kazakhstan”. More than 200 joint ventures and foreign companies are operating in the capital, the majority of these companies belonging to such countries as Turkey, Russia, Germany, Kyrgyzstan and Switzerland.

Astana is a member of the International Association of Capitals and Cultural Cities of the CIS along with 40 other cities of the CIS and the Baltic Republics; it has close bilateral relations with 13 cities and regions of the CIS and foreign countries.

Astana is one of the biggest centres of culture and the arts in Kazakhstan. The Presidential Cultural Centre of the Republic of Kazakhstan has been established in the centre of the new city. The structure of the Centre includes a Museum with various rooms and displays representing the historical values of the past and the present of Kazakhstan. There is a library containing more than a million books and electronic catalogues in the centre.

The Kazakh National Music Academy has been established in Astana. This Academy combines all the stages of specialised and general musical education into one school of uninterrupted musical education. The Academy is a member of the European Association of Conservatories, Academies and Musical High Schools.

Theatres in the capital are full of popular events. Spectators like attending events in such theatres as the Theatre of Drama and Music named after K. Kuanyshbaev (first opened on the 15th of November 1991) and the State Theatre of Russian Drama named after M. Gorky. In 2000 the National Opera and Ballet Theatre named after K Baiseitova was opened. The pristine new cinema complex named “Cinema-City” was also opened in 2000. It was built in accordance with the best traditions of international cinemas and it has become one of the favourite places to visit for the people of Astana.

Construction of the new city developments planned for the left bank of the Esil River has started. To help the process a Special Economic Zone providing more favourable conditions for investment has been created. According to the General Development Plan of the Capital the integrated structure of the this complex, which is located on the left bank, will symbolise the new Kazakhstan capital.

 

 

The creation of the SEZ will be beneficial both for the state and for the potential investors.
The benefits for the investors:

  • The state support of direct investments into construction of Astana city.
  • Significant tax privileges and preferentials.
  • Opportunities to introduce modern technologies and scientific achievements in the field of construction.
  • Getting land for construction in the new centre of the capital.
  • Formation and development of real estate market.
  • The guaranteed right to prolong the investment activity on the initial terms until the expiry of the SEZ period, but not more than for 10 years, irrespective of the changes in the juridical regime of the SEZ or its liquidation before the appointed time, including the extension of the area.      

The customs regulation in the territory of the SEZ is applied in accordance to the customs legislature of Republic of Kazakhstan. The territory of the SEZ is considered to be a part of the territory of the Republic of Kazakhstan with customs free regime.

  • The following goods and equipment are favoured in to the free customs zone:
  • machines and equipment for construction;
  • goods, which will be completely consumed in construction;
  • goods and equipment necessary for construction.


Astana is a city of the future. We are proud of our new capital. It is very symbolic that Astana has been granted the status “City of Peace” by decision of UNESCO in 1999.

  Business magnet

Construction and the business of government have spurred investments in the local economy as well. Between 2000 and 2004 the number of new legal entities registered in the capital increased by a factor of 2.3, and the local housing stock has nearly tripled in size. The centres of the capital city’s economic activity are construction, the food industry and tourism. The city boasts a large and growing number of restaurants and hotels catering to business travellers, as well as a major exhibition centre and universities.
Astana boasts a number of higher educational establishments including the L.Gumilyov Eurasian University. It is not only in Kazakhstan but also far beyond its confines that the scientific world is familiar with the works of experts of the A.Barayev Research Institute of Grain Farming. In Astana one can find three museums, two drama theatres, branches of the Union of Writers and Artists of Kazakhstan, with over 40 newspapers and 2 literary magazines being published in the city.
The region around Astana is by right one of the Republic's granaries and a big centre of agricultural machine-building. In fact it produces one fifth of all the grain, one tenth of cattle-breeding products with one fourth of grain being sold to the state. Areas under crops constitute 3422,6 ha. Just as well-developed is meat-and-milk cattle-breeding, pig-breeding, sheep-breeding, horse-breeding and poultry farming. The region's entrails harbour deposits of gold, uranium, bauxites, antimony, copper, lignites, caoline ores, quartz sands and other commercial minerals. Traditionally, development of industries in the region was associated with agriculture, with processing of agricultural raws. The region is fairly active in conducting foreign economic activities, it maintains mutually-advantageous relations with the states of both the near and the far abroad. Russia, Uzbekistan, Belarus and Tajikistan are major trade partners thereof. Exported to CIS countries is primarily grain, meat, flour and milk products while imports consist in fuel and power resources, products of chemical industries, timber, saw-timber, paper, rolled stock of ferrous metals and consumer goods. From among foreign countries the main share of exports is shipped to the USA, China, France, Germany, Turkey and Austria. These countries receive uranium oxide, molybdenum, fertilizers. Prevailing in import deliveries are food products and machinery for agroindustrial complex.
Astana and the northern region of the country can afford tremendous prospects of development. Concentrated in northern Kazakhstan are all reserves of industrial diamonds ever prospected in the Republic, two thirds of tin, over 30% of zirconium, 25% of uranium and 15% of gold. No wonder that mining in the region has a fine chance of sustained development. The transfer of the country's capital to Astana has exerted ever greater influence on neighbouring industrially developed regions - Karagandy, Pavlodar, East Kazakhstan and Kostanay. In addition it is a fine prerequisite for the development of entrepreneurship and businesses which would invariably trigger opening of main offices of (foreign) companies and firms, branches of major banks with eventual move of the banks themselves.

Sports Mecca

Astana’s other tourist attractions include “Astana-Baiterek,” a monument to the country’s independence with a sweeping view of the city, a circus, an ethnic park, a presidential culture museum and the world’s most inland oceanarium. With a huge new, 10,000-seat skating stadium and cycle track, Astana is also fast becoming a mecca for sports tourism New sport centres are planned in the neighbouring areas of Korgalzhyn, Ereimentau.

Eighth Wonder of the World?

The inauguration in September 2006 of the new, 62-meter-tall Palace of Peace and Accord, also known as the Peace Pyramid, will mark another milestone in Astana’s evolution and may well become the Eighth Wonder of the World. Built to house the Assembly of Nations of Kazakhstan, a university, a museum, a library and a winter garden, the pyramid was designed by British architect Sir Norman Foster, who is famous for his futuristic glass roof on the German Parliament (Reichstag). The Palace of Peace and Accord will be ready for the beginning of the Second Congress of World and Traditional Religions.

Geography

Astana lies in the North of the central part of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Its territory is as large as 96,800 sq km. The surrounding landscape is far from uniform: hillocky areas intermingled with low mountains, plain and river valleys. In the North we find spurs of the Kokshetau elevation, in the southern and south-eastern portions of the region it is "spurred" by the Saryarka (Kazakh hummocky topography) with plains in the North-East.
The climate is sharply continental with aridity rapidly increasing to the South. The average temperature in January - 14° - 18° C, rising to +20° to +24° C in July. At the extreme, winter temperatures can reach - 40° C and summer temperatures sometimes rise above + 35° C, with dust-laden storms and hot dry winds.
The largest rivers in the area are the Ishim and the Nura with such lakes as the Tengh, Karasor, Korgalzhyn, Balyktykol, Kypshak.

Nature

The region counts 55 species of animals, 180 species of birds and 30 species of fish. The rarest species of all are Pamir argali (arkhars), saker falcons, golden eagles, bustards, demoiselle cranes, steppe eagles, Dalmatian pelicans, little bustards and flamingos. To protect rare disappearing species of animals on the territory of the region state nature and game preserves have been set up. Some 66 species of vegetation sprout in the region. The area of all green plantations and similar massifs makes up 4,391.6 ha.