Sun 07-03-2021 17:13 PM
DUBAI, 7th March, 2021 (WAM) -- There is vast potential for the UAE and Kazakhstan to expand business ties in key sectors and areas of mutual interest, such as food security, agriculture and digitalisation of economic sectors, according to government officials and trade experts who spoke at the latest Global Partnership Series event.
The virtual forum, organised by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry in partnership with Kazakhstan’s embassy in the UAE, was attended by 130 participants from the UAE and Kazakhstan, including government officials, industry experts and business leaders.
Speakers and high-level attendees included Madiyar Menilbekov, Ambassador of the Republic of Kazakhstan to the UAE; Alisher Abdykadyrov, Vice Minister of National Economy of the Republic of Kazakhstan; Majid Al Ghurair, Chairman, Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Fahad Al Gergawi, CEO of Dubai FDI; Assylbek Jakiyev, Official Representative for Cooperation with Major Oil and Gas Operators and Oilfield Service Development, National Chamber of Entrepreneurs "Atameken"; Azamat Kozhanov, Managing Director; Kazakh Invest, and Omar Khan, Director of International Offices at Dubai Chamber.
In his opening remarks, Menilbekov described the UAE as "a key economic partner of Kazakhstan in the region", and said bilateral ties have strengthened in recent years with mutually beneficial projects and initiatives. He recalled the recent official visit of Kazakhstan’s President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev and the working visit of Kazakhstan’s Prime Minister, Askar Mamin, recently, which paved the way for a new economic and investment agenda for the two countries.
Bilateral trade between two countries reached almost US$500 million in 2020, according to the ambassador, while foreign direct investment from the UAE into Kazakhstan reached $130 million during the nine months of the last year. More than 350 legal entities, branches and representative offices from UAE are successfully operating in Kazakhstan, he added.
Abdykadyrov noted that Kazakhstan’s government is focusing its efforts on promoting investment cooperation with UAE and attract foreign capital from the Gulf country, following a bilateral agreement to create a roadmap for trade and investment cooperation consisting of concrete projects. Under this agreement, 30 projects in the fields of agriculture, mining, petrochemicals and pharmaceuticals have been approved, he said, adding that the implementation of these projects will bring their investment relations to a new level.
Addressing participants, Majid Saif Al Ghurair, Chairman of Dubai Chamber, shed light on the state Dubai-Kazakhstan economic ties and noted that the emirate has become a preferred hub for Kazakh companies looking to expand trade and investment in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and the wider Middle East region. Dubai’s non-oil trade with Kazakhstan has more than doubled from $163 million in 2016 to exceed $327 million in 2019, he revealed.
"Dubai’s strategic position makes it an ideal place for doing business with other GCC countries and key markets across Africa, Asia and other regions. With access to over two billion consumers, Dubai serves as a unique hub which Kazakh companies would surely benefit from," Al Ghurair said.
The event concluded with a panel discussion, titled Creating New Avenues of Bilateral Cooperation, which was joined by the remaining speakers and highlighted the common economic interests between Dubai and Kazakhstan that offer businesspersons from both markets high-potential business opportunities.