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Although Almaty is no longer the capital of Kazakhstan, it remains a key financial and cultural centre in the country. Since losing capital status, business leaders now shuttle to and from Astana and hotel occupancies and rates have suffered from a drop in business activity in the city. Despite this, investors are still keen to develop in Almaty, though there is a concern that saturation is around the corner. The country recently introduced a visa free regime as a one-year trial period for key ‘partner countries’, USA, UK, Japan, Germany, France, Italy, Netherlands, Malaysia, South Korea and the United Arab Emirates. This has been very much welcomed by the business community.
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03 September 2014