Kazakhstan and Slovakia hold business forum in Astana

ASTANA (TCA) — On November 15, the Prime Minister of the Slovak Republic Peter Pellegrini arrived in Kazakhstan with the first official visit. President Nursultan Nazarbayev received Pellegrini, and a working meeting of the Prime Ministers of the two countries was also held, which followed by a Kazakh-Slovak business forum, the official website of the Prime Minister of Kazakhstan reported.

At the meeting, Kazakh Prime Minister Bakytzhan Sagintayev and Peter Pellegrini discussed bilateral cooperation in the trade, economic, cultural and humanitarian spheres, as well as the implementation of joint investment projects. Special attention was paid to cooperation in the field of tourism. Slovakia plans to open two centers for simplified obtaining of Schengen visas for Kazakh citizens in Kazakhstan.

Sagintayev noted a steady increase in economic cooperation. At the same time, taking into account the existing potential, prospects for further increasing the volume of bilateral trade were indicated. For example, Kazakhstan is interested in the experience of Slovakia in the development of the automotive industry, alternative and renewable energy sources and the green economy, as well as in the modernization of the energy infrastructure and in the field of nuclear energy.

Pellegrini said that Kazakhstan is his country’s key partner in Central Asia. The Prime Minister stated that Slovak companies are actively involved in the implementation of large energy and infrastructure projects in Kazakhstan, and expressed gratitude for ensuring investment protection and exemption from double taxation. In his opinion, Kazakhstan responds to all modern requirements for the protection of investors.

The Kazakh-Slovak Business Forum gathered about 120 representatives of the business community of the two countries. Led by Pellegrini, more than 70 representatives of government agencies and businesses in various sectors of the economy arrived: engineering, processing, energy, health, construction, logistics, chemical industry, aviation, agriculture, and IT.

Sagintayev in his speech outlined priority areas for increasing cooperation. Thus, Kazakhstan welcomes investments in the development of the manufacturing industry and non-primary exports. Kazakhstan also pays special attention to the agricultural sector, which should be one of the key drivers of the economy.

Prime Minister Sagintayev invited the Slovak business to actively cooperate and implement new joint projects.

Prime Minister Pellegrini said that the Government of the Slovak Republic is ready to maximally develop economic relations between the two countries through the support of mutual and joint foreign investments and participation in other supporting events.

“There are industries in the energy sector in which we see the greatest potential, including the renewable sources, mechanical engineering, mining equipment, oil and gas, water purification technology, as well as food production and many others. Therefore, the firms that are present here represent precisely these areas,” said Pellegrini, assuring that Kazakhstan businessmen would be provided with the best conditions in the Slovak Republic.

In 2017, the Kazakh-Slovak trade amounted to $53 million, which is 40% more than in 2016. From 2005 to the second quarter of 2018, the gross inflow of direct investments from Slovakia to Kazakhstan amounted to $20.6 million. According to the latest data, 62 legal entities, branches and representative offices with Slovak participation are registered in Kazakhstan.

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