The transport and communication infrastructure of Kazakhstan includes pipelines, railways, aerial routes, water transport routes, highways, mail systems, and telecommunications networks.
In recent years, the transport and communication complex has accounted for 9-10% of the national GDP.
For Kazakhstan, the transport and telecommunication sector has a large impact upon the effective-ness of market transformations in the economy of Kazakhstan. Indeed, the growth in economic production, as a whole, in many respects depends on its level of development and efficient utilization. The low population density (6.1 people per 1 sq. km.) within Kazakhstan, the dispersion of natural resources and centers of economic activity and the remoteness from non-CIS country markets are determining factors in infrastructure development. They make the transport sector a most important sector for the well being of the national economy.
Today Kazakhstan, in view of the priority given to issues relating to an effective transport network with exterior links for exports, puts great importance on programs aimed at improving transport routes and creating effective transport corridors to external markets. Creating legal, organizational and technical conditions for setting up international carriage operations is also important in this light. 55 bilateral and multilateral international carriage agreements have already been signed between Kazakhstan and other countries. Lately, Kazakhstan has joined 7 conventions in the field of road transportation, 9 marine and interior water transport conventions and 8 civil aircraft ones.
A developed network of basic transit routes and highly skilled manpower in the transport sector are currently available in the Republic.
However, the transport and communication complex of Kazakhstan is facing a series of basic strategic challenges in order to become even more efficient.
These include the:
-Creation of a rational sovereign transport web integrated into the world transport system and providing Kazakhstan with access to seas; -Modernizing of existing rail and highways, waterways, ports, airports, and air navigation complexes; -Creation of its own factory and repair stations for rolling stock of all types of transport;
- Building of an industry relating to the provision of modern communication facilities;
- Creation of a modern system of telecommunications;
- Improvement of the control system and the normative and legal basis for the transport and communication complex.
The discharge of these tasks requires considerable funds. The total required investment, up to 2030, is estimated to be more than $25 billion. Of this total investment about 40% is required for the development of railway transportation, 23%for highways and motor transport, 25% for telecommunications and 12% for air and water transport system.
In an effort to create favorable conditions for foreign and domestic investors, goal-oriented and consistent investment policies are pursued within the transport and communication complex. Today, as well as in the long term, preference is given to the attraction of direct investment, which has a series of advantages over any other forms of economic aid.
The practice of transferring property under lease or in trust, under specific investment programs, is applied in order to attract the necessary volume of investments. In the implementation of some new projects, different forms of concession (BOT and BOO patterns) will be utilized.
A competitive environment is being created and monopolies are being restricted to form an open and efficient transport and communication services market. A program of reform for state-owned property will be implemented involving the privatization of plants relating to railways, air, water, and motor transport.
The licensing of transport and communication services is subject to the terms of Kazakhstan's Licensing Law.
In the field of tariff policies, measures are being undertaken to bring the existing rate system closer to the market rates. Reform and reduction of the rates is planned on a stage by stage basis over the next two to three years. There will be a parallel program of modernization within the industry based on the attraction of soft loans. This program includes planned investment projects worth over five billion dollars.