The Kazakhstan government announced that it will ban foreigners from owning or renting farmland in the country.
President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev ordered the ban on Thursday, ending a lengthy dispute that once prompted anti-government protests.
“I order that the sale and leasing of agricultural land to foreigners and foreign legal entities be forbidden. This also includes legal entities with foreign shareholders,” Tokayev said.
Tokayev also said that land ownership “has always been very important to our people. It is a cornerstone and a sacred symbol of our statehood.”
Tokayev added that the foreign ownership ban would remain in place.
The country is a major producer of grains, oilseeds, and meat China and Russia and five years ago. Authorities opened a farmland market to attract foreign investments to agriculture.
Kazakhstan is the key trade partner, creditor, and investor of China, however, its rising clout has prompted a rise in anti-Beijing sentiment among locals.
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