The Astana Times – Kazakhstan is considering expanding its program of preferences for domestic IT companies, said Kazakh Minister of Digital Development, Innovations and Aerospace Industry Bagdat Mussin at a regular meeting of the government’s office working on crisis management measures on April 14.
Mussin said that his ministry continues to monitor the current situation and prevailing trends and consider different measures to support the domestic IT sector, including a waiver for military service for IT specialists, preferential loans for the introduction of domestic IT solutions, and prolongation of tax preferences at the Astana Hub international technopark for IT startups on the principle of extraterritoriality until 2029.
Founded in 2018, the Astana Hub seeks to develop an ecosystem of innovation in Kazakhstan by offering various startup development programs including the startup school, the school of investors, incubation as well as acceleration programs. Besides that, it also provides tax preferences.
At the moment, there are 641 IT companies registered in the hub, and 70 of them are foreign.
Over the past weeks, Kazakhstan witnessed an influx of foreign IT companies and specialists seeking to relocate to the country due to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. At least 468 companies from neighbouring countries are now being consulted on relocation.
Mussin said that the ministry has a team that includes Astana Hub representatives and officials to promptly respond to incoming requests. They created a website with detailed instructions regarding entry, stay and the opening of companies, as well as measures of state support for the IT industry.
Mussin said Kazakhstan will benefit from companies and specialists with vast experience coming to Kazakhstan. “By giving them opportunities, we get two big advantages for our domestic specialists – exchange of experience and knowledge with foreign specialists and more jobs for Kazakhstan’s citizens,” Mussin said recently.
He pointed out the special tax regime, the modern infrastructure, and visa support measures among the reasons why foreign companies might choose Kazakhstan.
“Firstly, companies registered in the hub do not pay taxes, they have been enjoying this privilege for four years, while neighbouring countries have made it possible relatively recently. We also provide modern infrastructure at below-market prices. Thirdly, a simplified procedure of obtaining visas and migration processes is provided for employees of companies registered in our IT-hub,” said the minister.
On April 15, the ministry announced the launch of a one-stop-shop for foreign IT specialists to receive public services at the AIFC (Astana International Financial Centre) Expat Center.