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Do you consider your property, of whatever type (business, lang, realty, cars, intellectual property, etc.), secure? How would you grade the safety and security of an entrepreneur in Kazakhstan on a ten–point scale?

Prepared by Sophia Balakina

I haven’t faced a need to directly defend my property. I’ve never been in a situation when I had to fight for my rights in this sphere. Therefore, my answers may not fully describe the picture around this issue in our republic. However, in my opinion, the question of property security is very topical for many of Kazakhstan’s citizens, especially if we consider construction in Almaty, which is a vivid example of a conflict of interests. Unfortunately, in many cases we don’t act in accordance with Kazakhstan’s constitution, and the property rights of the citizens are violated.
Regarding intellectual property, I think that the situation is quite positive. The conflicts in this sphere are usually resolved in the favor of the owner. The only problem in this sphere is the minimal awareness of the public on this issue.

As an owner, I’m protected by our laws to the level of 9 out of 10. My grading is 9, rather than 10, because there are no perfect laws. With regards to the compliance with law, including the corruption issue, I’d rate my property security with only 3 points. Thus, the average level of the security of my property would be rated as 6 out of 10.

I cannot consider my property to be secure, and I think other citizens of our country, who think about this issue, are of the same opinion. Regarding myself and my experience, I can say that, after becoming a member of the democratic movement and expressing my opinion, which is natural for any healthy society, I had to sell all of my business because of the endless inspections and pressure on my partners. A criminal case was opened regarding my activities and my personal and corporate accounts were frozen.
Unfortunately, sanctity of property, which is one of the main features of a constitutional state and an important condition for balanced economic development, is relative in our country now; it depends on one’s loyalty to the government, connections and even the absence of personal ambitions! What I mean is that some powers in politics and the state apparatus with large scale economic interests often appropriate the most successful businesses, if they are still more or less independent in current conditions.
On the other hand, even these people with the power of all levels don’t feel safe and don’t consider their property secure. That is the reason why approximately every five years laws on the legalization of property are adopted. This is also the reason for the attempts to secure property, sometimes obtained illegally, by accessing the international stock markets. This is also the reason for the speculative growth of prices for real estate; the low level of investment attraction. The lack of transparency and absence of security for private property have many negative consequences.

I would grade the security of my property as 6 out of 10. The low grade is explained by the corruption in our country. Although, the government combats corruption, I still have doubts.

Yes, I think my property is secure. Maybe because the volume of my property is not large enough to interest possible expropriators. I’d grade the property security level in Kazakhstan as 7 out of 10.

Property security includes several aspects, such as lawfulness of obtaining the property, registration of the property, etc.
Regarding keeping the property physically, there are no problems about retaining the property physically or receiving compensation in case of its loss in Kazakhstan, and especially in Western countries today. I refer to insurance coverage. You can insure your property against fire, flood, natural disasters, and theft. You can insure your property even against fraud, when buying a house share at the stage of its construction. Business and land property can also be insured.
Insuring intellectual property is a little bit more difficult. And there is a problem of proper definition of the intellectual property in different areas of activity. There is no insurance against political risks.
Based on the above statements, I think the security of property in Kazakhstan can be rated as 5 points out of 10.

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