Since its inception in 1991, Kazakhstan has realised the prime importance of investment policy as a key driver of economic growth and development. Therefore, over a period of three decades, the country has attracted foreign direct investment (FDI) of around $330 billion. International investors are fascinated by Kazakhstan’s abundant resources like oil, gas, coal, uranium, copper, aluminum, zinc, gold, iron and rare earths etc. Besides, there is immense agricultural potential for grain and livestock production. Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) was launched from Astana in 2013 and currently 102 BRI projects of infrastructure development are running in Kazakhstan. Various international trade corridors passing through Kazakhstan connect it to the markets of Europe, Asia and Middle East where 65pc of the world’s GDP is generated. Kazakhstan’s GDP is over $180 billion that is more than half of the region’s GDP. Under Kazakhstan 2050 Strategy, the country is determined to be among 30 most developed nations of the world by 2050. In its world investment report, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has observed that despite the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the global economy, Kazakhstan in 2020 demonstrated the largest increase of 34.9pc ($3.9 billion) in net foreign direct investment among 17 countries with a transition economy and 34 landlocked countries. Such investing confidence is exceptional keeping in view the decline of 35pc in global investment. In last five years, bulk of foreign investment into Kazakhstan has poured in from the Netherlands ($33.8 billion), United States ($19.4 billion), Switzerland ($12.5 billion), China ($6.2 billion), and France ($4.7 billion). Interestingly, around 60pc of this investment is associated with non-extractive sectors like manufacturing, trade, transportation, financial and insurance services. All this indicates that Kazakhstan has turned into a top destination of foreign direct investment. Let us analyze how the process of attracting DFI into Kazakhstan has intensified on account of systematic and comprehensive measures adopted by the government of Kazakhstan: A. The government has set up 13 Special Economic Zones (SEZs) on the territory of Kazakhstan with a special legal regime and every necessary infrastructure, in order to carry out activities of priority economic sectors. B. In 2017, Kazakhstan had an accession to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Declaration on International Investment and Multinational Enterprises as well as obtained the status of an associated member of the OECD Investment Committee. C. In 2017, JSC KAZ INVEST was established to promote sustainable socio-economic development of Kazakhstan by attracting foreign investment in priority sectors of the economy and comprehensive support of investment projects. It is a single negotiator on behalf of the government of the Republic of Kazakhstan to discuss the prospects and conditions for the implementation of investment projects. KAZ INVEST supports investment projects as one-stop shop. D. Subsequent upon implementation of WTO framework, Kazakhstan has lifted restriction on opening branches of foreign banks and insurance companies, from January 2020. E. Oil and related products are the core strength of Kazakhstan economy that account for 70pc of its exports. The government has provided friendly climate to oil and gas sector giant investors like TengizChevrOil, KazMunaiGas and Caspian Pipeline Consortium etc. Prolific oil fields of Kashagan and Tengiz are supported by three large oil refineries at Atyrau, Shymkent and Pavlodar. F. Rising investment trends in the mining, transport, telecommunications, energy sectors and financial services reflect attempts at the diversification of economy. With shift in the investment priorities, emphasis is being laid on sectors such as tourism, agriculture, construction, pharmaceuticals, ecology and information technology. G. The government has established Astana International Financing Center (AIFC) with special tax, visa and employment regimes for the investing companies. For speedy resolution of trade disputes, a separate Court and International Arbitration Center has also been structured at AIFC that is separate and independent from the local judicial system of Kazakhstan. H. In addition to the above, a number of reforms have been undertaken to improve the investment climate. Among the various measures include transferring investment attraction function to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, establishing the Coordinating Council on Investment Attraction under the chairmanship of the Prime Minister, the Foreign Direct Investment Fund with the capitalization of $I billion for most promising export-oriented projects. I. Favorable investment climate is validated by elevation in global rankings. As such, Kazakhstan is ranked 25th in the World Bank’s Doing Business Index, at 10th place in the Protecting Investors category, positioned 34th in the 2021 Index of Economic Freedom and ranked 29th in the UN e-Government Survey 2020 among 193 countries. Global investment activities are heavily based on joint ventures. Before the onset of COVID-19, some negotiations at certain level were going on between Pakistani companies like M/S Habib Syndicate and Fauji Fertilizer Company Ltd. (FFCL) that were discussing on a joint venture to establish a US$200 million Soda Ash plant in Pavlodar (SEZ for chemical & petrochemical industries) near Nursultan. The project had local partners and was to be backed by sovereign guarantee. Then, the largest construction company of Kazakhstan with a turnover of $1.2 billion was also having negotiations with Pakistan’s National Logistic Cell (NLC) for joint venture on infrastructure projects. Kazakhstan’s ambassador to Pakistan Yerzhan Kistafin firmly believes that business to business (B2B) contact is effective approach for global trade and investment. Kazakhstan has, certainly, made significant progress towards market economy. Mark Smith, the Chairman of European Business Association of Kazakhstan notes that “more and more investors are beginning to see the country as an attractive destination for direct investment.” The writer is a senior banker based in Kazakhstan, with a keen interest in Central Asian studies. He can be reached out at email@example.com.