Dubai Chamber briefing explores investment potential of Kazakhstan

Sept 11. AME Info. United Arab Emirates

Dubai Chamber briefing explores investment potential of KazakhstanH.E. Hamad Buamim, Director General, Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, called upon Dubai-based companies to expand their business interests in the promising markets of Central Asia and the Caucasus that offer excellent investment opportunities in the areas of energy resources, construction, financial, logistics and transport sectors.

Buamim further emphasised that today’s competitive business environment demands traders to be innovative and not to hesitate to explore untapped markets of the world if they want to be ahead of the rest. His words came during the Dubai Chamber organised Country Focus Briefing on Kazakhstan, held in association with the Consulate General of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Kazakhstan Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Kazakhstan National Agency for Export and Investments (Kaznex Invest), on Tuesday at the Chamber premises.

In his welcome address to a gathering of Dubai and Kazakhstan businesses, Buamim said that as part of its new strategy, Dubai Chamber will be opening first of its overseas representative offices by the end of this year, one of which is in neighbouring Azerbaijan, and this will serve as a gateway to the region while offering business opportunities in several countries across Central Asia, including Kazakhstan.

Buamim reaffirmed Dubai Chamber’s commitment to providing all the support to Kazakhstani businesses in establishing joint partnerships under the Chamber’s strategic objectives of creating a favourable business environment and promoting Dubai as an international business hub.

He called upon the Kazakhstan investors to benefit from the competitive investment potential offered by the emirate which he said is a gateway to the region as Kazakhstani companies look for a stable and prosperous base to expand into the Middle Eastern, African and Southeast Asian markets.

“Dubai is an excellent example of how a country can diversify its economy into a number of different industry sectors. Our economy has moved away from oil reliance and is now focused on trade, tourism, logistics and financial services which are the main drivers of the emirate’s economy and are lucrative areas for foreign direct investments,” said Buamim.

Kazakhstan is ranked 58th on the list of Dubai’s top trading partners as the emirate’s non-oil trade with the country last year valued more than Dhs2.5bn, of which imports were Dhs763m and exports and re-exports Dhs1.74bn.

The briefing session had opening remarks by H.E. Askar Shokybayav, Consul General of Kazakhstan, and presentations by H.E. Ayan Yerenov, Vice-President, Kazakhstan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and representatives of the Kazakhstan National Agency for Export and Investments (Kaznex Invest).

In his inaugural address, H.E. Askar Shokybayav, Consul General of Kazakhstan, stated that the trade volume between the two countries was very low and expressed his desire to see a substantial increase in the trade volumes and to that effect a Kazakhstan high profile trade delegation headed by the country’s Minister of Industry will be visiting Dubai in the next two months, he informed.

Gafur Ikhsan, Co-Chairman of Kazakhstan-UAE Business Council, lauded the role of Dubai which he said is a model city with world-class infrastructure, logistics and financial facilities and attracts investors from all over the world. “We are working with our Dubai colleagues to attract investors to establish businesses in Kazakhstan which is a very interesting business destination and open to offer all facilities to overseas investors who are more than welcome to our promising country,” he said.

In his presentation, H.E. Ayan Yerenov, Vice-President, Kazakhstan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, highlighted the benefits of investing in Kazakhstan which he said offers political stability and good investment climate, regionally attractive fiscal and non-fiscal regime and protection of foreign investment, stable macroeconomic indicators and high growth and springboard to the market of 3 billion consumers.

He added that Kazakhstan’s economy has witnessed a very high growth rate and the country offers access to over and is known for attracting foreign direct investments as seen from the FDI figures of last year which touched $19.9bn up by 9.9% compared to the $18.1bn figures of 2010.

Yerenov further stressed that Kazakhstan ranked 47th in the ease of doing business in the World Bank 2012 Index of Doing Business while the gross domestic product (GDP) growth for 2011 was 7.5% according to the International Monetary Fund.

The Vice-President of Kazakhstan Chamber of Commerce and Industry also outlined the availability of attractive incentives including those for strategic investment projects in various sectors as well as investments that exceed USD 50 million or investments in high-tech products.

Launched in 2010, the Dubai Chamber initiative of the Country Focus Briefing is organised in association with embassies, consulates, business councils, trade centres and representative offices of target countries. The main objective of the briefing is to introduce business opportunities in one chosen market to Dubai’s business community so as to empower them to explore emerging export destinations, develop relationships with relevant trade bodies as well as enhance their competitiveness in the global business arena. So far, the initiative has brought into focus new markets like Chile, Switzerland, Japan, Turkey Brazil, Ethiopia, Australia and the Netherlands.