Kazakhstan and S Korea: from trade-economic to technological cooperation


Kazakhstan and S Korea: from trade-economic to technological cooperationThe Kazakh-Korean projects investment portfolio exceeds USD 8 bln. During the recent visit of President of the Republic of Korea Lee Muyng-bak to Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev stressed that it was the fourth meeting for the past 4 years. The President underlined that such an intensive high-level dialogue exerted positive effect on the development of cooperation between the two countries.

Kazakh Industry and New Technologies Minister Asset Isekeshev told Kazinform Agency about the current state and the prospects for the development of the Kazakh-Korean business cooperation.

– Mr Issekeshev, could you point out the most significant prerequisites for the development of technological cooperation between Kazakhstan and South Korea?

– The Korean companies, first of all, are our partners in the sphere of transfer of technologies. Possessing vast mineral and raw materials potential and pursuing the policy of economic modernization, Kazakhstan needs modern technologies the South Korean companies may provide with. First of all, Kazakhstan thanks to its convenient investment climate, high stability level, and advantageous geopolitical position is an attractive place for investments and location of economic activities.

Cooperation in the area of innovations received a significant impetus after the visit of President Nursultan Nazarbayev to Korea in 2010. The Head of State visited then the largest innovation cluster of South Korea that groups 5 national universities, 30 research centers, about 400 corporate scientific research centers and above 1200 innovation companies. Following the results of his trip, Nursultan Nazarbayev gave certain tasks to tune up cooperation in the sphere of innovations.

Thus, we may suggest today the gradual transition from trade and economic cooperation to technological interaction.

– You told that Kazakhstan is an attractive place to launch new productions. Could you brief on the key joint projects?

– Kazakhstan and Korea have jointly fulfilled a number of large production projects in mining and smelting, engineering, energy and petrochemical industries.

In particular, two projects in mining and smelting industry are being realized in Karaganda and East Kazakhstan regions. Besides, Kazakhstan assembles KIA, SsangYong cars and Hyuindai light-duty trucks. As is known, the countries are involved in the construction of the Balkhash thermal power plant and Kyzylbulak hydroelectric power plant. Construction of a gas turbine plant in Atyrau region is under discussion now.

As for the prospects, the projects under consideration such as setting up of a gas chemical complex in Atyrau region and Zhambyl field development on the Caspian shelf should not be left unmentioned.

– Kazakhstan rests hopes on the Innovation Technologies Park as it pertains to the development of the innovative constituent of the country’s economy. Do any Korean companies feel an interest in this free economic area?

– Sure, we enjoy examples of successful cooperation. Alpha Network Company’s plant was unveiled recently in the Innovation Technologies Park. It is the part on LS Network, one of the South Korean technological leaders in the production of equipment for fiber-optic communication line.  This plant is the first project of Alpha Network. Currently we jointly work on several projects worth above USD 50 mln. This company will become one of the anchor and backbone projects in the Park.

– How would you asses the dynamics of technological cooperation of Kazakhstan and South Korea at large?

– We are satisfied with the positive dynamics of our partnership; on the other hand, potential of technological cooperation with South Korea is wide from being exhausted. Therefore, we suggest this direction is one of the key lines in the development of bilateral ties.