|AHMET HAMDI AYAN
Chairman of the Board of Ahsel Holding
"A country of 2.5 million square kilometres
and a myriad of opportunities"
The Ahsel Holding was founded in 1999 to coordinate
the groups subsidiaries and foreign affiliates.
Chairman Ahmet Hamdi Ayan believes policymakers will
increasingly shift their focus towards the production
side of the economy.
How do you explain Kazakhstans strong macroeconomic
There have been different phases of growth. The first
phase was right after independence. Russia was a powerful
neighbour and China was on the rise. Kazakhstan needed
strong leadership and the situation was complicated.
President Nazarbayev consolidated his leadership and
a market economy began to function. At the time, there
was little domestic capital available. In 1996, our
hotel was one of only two 5-star hotels. Since 2000,
the country has boomed. Money is being reinvested in
property and construction.
What business opportunities are you pursuing in
We will focus on developing our niche sectors. For
instance, we are planning to build factories that can
supply our construction projects, producing everything
from wooden panels to prefabricated concrete components.
This allows us to source our own building materials
at lower prices. Aside from that, we are going ahead
with our school buildings, medical centres and shopping
How would you describe your market strategy?
We work in different areas, including construction,
real estate, property management and trade. For instance,
we are currently developing the Edelweiss luxury villas,
a residential complex. There is a growing market here
for high-end living. Were also developing a satellite
compound called Ahselkent, which will be the first of
its kind in the country. It will be a fully integrated
complex with supermarkets and movie theatres. The plan
is to deliver 7,000 apartments.
You have been directly involved in Kazakhstan for
the last 15 years. What is your personal message to
The future is very bright, especially in the field
of natural resources. Its just a matter of how
the mineral resources are used and the processes implemented.
Kazakhstan needs to remain open to investment. Still,
there is a big gap on the production side and the Kazakhstani
government is cognizant of this.
They are making a big effort to focus on domestic
transformation of natural resources. Three agencies
have been created to narrow the production gap: Samruk,
Kazyna and Kazagro. Samruk is designed to identify and
manage investments. Kazyna will support the setting
up of factories. Kazagro, in turn, will channel investment
into agricultural production. This is a country of 2.5
million square kilometres and a myriad of opportunities.