President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev spoke about Kazakhstan’s economic and investment potential at a round table with participation of the Emirates’ business community.
The Head of State stressed that Kazakhstan and UAE have made significant progress in almost all areas of cooperation. The bilateral agenda is constantly updated with mutually beneficial projects and initiatives, and the level of interstate relations can be described as a comprehensive strategic partnership.
“From January to November 2019, the mutual trade turnover increased by 10.3% compared to the same period in 2018 and amounted to US$ 500 million. The volume of direct investments from the UAE to Kazakhstan amounted to US$ 2.1 billion, while investments from Kazakhstan to the UAE reached US$1 billion. About 350 legal entities, branches and representative offices from the UAE are successfully operating in Kazakhstan. We have an ambitious plan to implement joint investment projects worth US$ 11 billion,” the President noted.
Kassym-Jomart Tokayev is convinced that Kazakhstan and the Emirates have a huge potential for expanding cooperation. Today’s high-level meetings open up new opportunities and prospects.
“We are currently negotiating with the Mubadala investment company to implement a US$ 6.6 billion project to build a petrochemical complex for the production of polypropylene in the Atyrau region. Our joint project can be a good example of the fact that the economy of Kazakhstan pays great attention to the processing industry and industrial development,” The Head of State said.
In his speech, the President Tokayev drew the attention of UAE businessmen to the great prospects opening up in agricultural cooperation. Kazakhstan has land, technology, and logistics capabilities to supply organic and environmentally friendly agricultural products to the Arab market. Joint projects for the production of Halal products, meat and poultry, and processing of oilseeds are also of great interest.
Today, the United Arab Emirates is among the top 5 most popular destinations for Kazakh tourists. The head of state said that our country intends not only to send its citizens on vacation, but also to attract tourists from the Emirates. In this regard, Kazakhstan counts on the assistance of Arab business.
“We consider tourism as one of the key industries for creating jobs and diversifying the economy. On the other hand, for many years the UAE has been a recognized leader and player in the global tourism market. Your companies have accumulated relevant knowledge, experience, and resources. In this regard, we would like to invite you to jointly develop tourist destinations in Kazakhstan and help us bring them to the international level,” the Kazakhstan’s President said.
The financial sector is also an important area of cooperation between the two countries. Astana International Financial Centre works closely with major banking and investment institutions in the Emirates. The AIFC is strengthening its potential as a hub for Islamic financial services in Central Asia and the Eurasian space, where about 200 million people live.
“The AIFC will be the venue for the IPO of our largest state strategic assets, such as the national oil and gas company, railways, telecommunications companies, etc. We invite both corporations and welfare funds, such as Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and Mubadala to participate in the privatization program,” Kassym-Jomart Tokayev addressed the businessmen.
According to him, investment proposals worth almost US$ 40 billion have been developed in the mining industry, metallurgy, petrochemistry, agriculture, logistics, tourism and other sectors, which can become a good base for deepening bilateral economic cooperation.
The President also pointed to the importance of cooperation in education and science, noting the ongoing joint educational projects.
Ahmed Ali al Sayih, the State Minister and the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the “Abu Dhabi Global Market” Free Economic Zone, Yusuff Ali Musaliam Veettil Abdul Kader, Chairman and Managing Director of LuLu Group International, Kairat Kelimbetov, the Governor of AIFC, Khaled Al-Kindi, Shareholder of the “SABIS” Educational network Emirates Kazakhstan Education Investment Group, Mohamed Al Shamma, Managing Director of the International Community School, and other representative of the business communities of the two countries also delivered speech at a round table.