Baikonur to be designated free economic zone

A free economic zone will be created at the Baikonur Cosmodrome to attract tourists to the world’s first and largest operational space launch facility, Kyzylorda Region Akim (Governor) Kuanyshbek Iskakov told KazInform news agency Nov. 22.

“We have already developed the concept of a free economic zone. One of the aims of the free economic zone is the development of tourism. There are tourist and entertainment zones, which are included in the map of top 10 tourist priority destinations of our republic. As you know, Baikonur is a closed city and tourism is not developed there,” he said.

The akimat (city administration) is planning to build hotels, museums, pavilions and rocket observation platforms.

“I think that there will be favourable conditions for the creation of tourism. New facilities will be built, new hotels meeting international standards, museums, pavilions, observation platforms for space rocket flights and others,” he added.

The Baikonur development project, planned for 2021-2046, includes improving the area’s tourism, entertainment and industrial potential, noted Kyzylorda Region Department of Industrial and Innovative Development head Rinat Sultangereyev Nov. 25, according to

“The project implementation period is 25 years, from 2021 to 2046. The priority areas here are the creation of the Baikonur international spaceport, the Baikonur entertainment and tourist zone and the organisation of industrial production. As a part of the development of the tourism potential of Baikonur, following the example of the successful development of space tourism at Cape Canaveral, a concept for creating an entertainment and tourist zone was developed,” he said.

Funding for a feasibility study, the initial stage of the project, will be allocated from the regional budget.

“Seventy-six million tenge (US$196,764) was allocated from the regional budget for the development of a feasibility study for the project. On the territory of the entertainment and tourist zones, there are plans to locate objects of entertainment and educational purposes to create the most comfortable conditions for the development of small and medium-sized businesses,” said Sultangereyev.

Creating the free economic zone is aimed towards developing the industrial and innovative potential of Kazakhstan and Russia, he noted.

“The creation of a free economic zone corresponds to priority directions of economic development of Kazakhstan and Russia. The main objectives of the project are the development of industrial and innovative potential, including the field of space activities,” he added.