US to diversify economic cooperation with Kazakhstan

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ASTANA (TCA) — The American-Kazakhstan Business Association on October 25 hosted a Business Forum in Astana where the First Vice Premier of Kazakhstan Askar Mamin and US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross addressed the participants. More than 100 Kazakhstani and American companies took part in the Forum, the official website of the Prime Minister of Kazakhstan reported.

“The US is one of the leading investors in Kazakhstan, more than $40 billion has been invested in the economy of our country,” said Mamin, noting successful cooperation with major American companies, including Chevron, Exxon Mobil, General Electric, Halliburton, in the development of power engineering and machine building, processing industry, and mining sector.

The official visit of President Nursultan Nazarbayev to the US in January 2018 was a new stage in the development of bilateral cooperation. During the visit, trade and investment agreements were concluded for about $7 billion. The agreements were aimed at implementing projects in the field of aviation and space research, petrochemical and agricultural industries, as well as projects in the field of infrastructure development.

Kazakhstan is the country with the most market-oriented economy in Central Asia. Kazakhstan accounts for 70% of all GDP and 80% of total FDI inflows into the region. Growing openness and integration into global and regional trade and production processes are the main factors driving dynamic economic growth, Mamin said.

“Astana International Financial Center, established in July 2017, is the main institution for the protection of investors. AIFC embodies the best practices of leading financial centers in New York, Singapore, London and Dubai. The platform’s partners are the American stock exchange NASDAQ, the largest US financial organizations such as Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs,” said Mamin and noted that 24 thousand companies with foreign participation do a successful business in Kazakhstan.

Over 700 of them are created in collaboration with American companies. These companies play an important role in attracting international capital and best practices to the country, meeting the ever-growing demand for Kazakhstan’s exports both in the region and internationally.

“The Government of Kazakhstan considers the visit of the American trade mission as an integral part of the practical implementation of the agreements of the Leaders of the two states,” said Mamin.

The US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said that the US intends to continue diversifying the areas of cooperation with Kazakhstan.

According to him, “if previously the main areas of American capital were the mining and energy sector of Kazakhstan, today we intend to invest in infrastructure development, processing, engineering, the agro-industrial complex, and a number of other high-tech areas.”

Ross also noted US intentions to increase trade in services as a mechanism for increasing employment and value added in the economies of the US and Kazakhstan.

He stressed the importance of the further implementation of the agreements reached at the highest level, including the Agreement on “Open Sky” Air Traffic between Kazakhstan and the US. The document implies the lifting of restrictions on flights between the cities of Kazakhstan and the United States, which will significantly increase the volume of passenger and cargo traffic between the two countries in the near future.

Sergey Kwan

TCA