The visit of Kazakhstan’s Deputy Prime Minister Asset Isekeshev to Silicon Valley, California

Apr 9.  Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan

The visit of Kazakhstan's Deputy Prime Minister Asset Isekeshev to Silicon Valley, CaliforniaFrom March 26 to March 30, Kazakhstan’s Deputy Prime Minister Asset Isekeshev visited Silicon Valley with high-ranking executives representing the country’s state owned and private companies. Isekeshev, who also leads the country’s Ministry of Industry and New Technologies, attended the 10th Global Technology Symposium at Rosewood Sand Hill. Each year this event brings together venture capitalists, technology gurus, private equity fund managers and entrepreneurs from more than a hundred countries to discuss new frontiers of innovation.

Isekeshev delivered a speech and participated in a special panel session dedicated to Kazakhstan. He discussed implementation of joint-venture industrial and innovation projects, Kazakhstan’s investment climate, detailed the Government’s programs aimed at providing foreign companies investing in the country’s non-extracting industries with state support, and touched upon Astana’s upcoming international exhibition “EXPO-2017: Energy of the Future.

Deputy Prime Minister Isekeshev met with the U.S. Congressman Michael Honda. The Congressman, who represents the 17th district of California and Silicon Valley, was told that Kazakhstan hopes to create business ties with Silicon Valley high tech companies.

During the visit Kazakh delegation had a number of bilateral meetings with the Silicon Valley’s top executives. They met with representatives of Google, DCM, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Bright Capital, Intel, Cisco Systems, VMWare, Tech Shop, Iogen, Tesla etc.

A memorandum of understanding was signed between National Agency on Technological Development (NATD), an innovation arm of the Ministry of Industry and New Technologies, and Innovaro (former UTEC Corp.). It lays the groundwork for joint research, transfer of technologies and promotion of innovation start-ups. Another MoU was signed with Plug and Play Tech Center, which will instigate joint ventures and tech startups in Silicon Valley.

The Deputy Prime Minister also met with leaders of the top universities in the San Francisco Bay Area, including Stanford School of Engineering, Haas School of Business of the University of California at Berkeley and Northwestern Polytechnic University. He discussed with deans, professors and faculty members mutual long term cooperation in R&D, and specialized trainings and workshops.

The visit included meetings with local Kazakhstan community, which becomes a good tradition. Particularly, he met with young professionals and high tech specialists to discuss the ways they might cooperate together. Kazakhstan talents, already in demand by American companies for their innovative ideas and promising start-ups, were happy to see the Government’s practical steps to establish business ties with Silicon Valley companies.

There clearly was strong interest by local high tech companies and venture funds in Kazakhstan, and aspiration of both sides to deepen investment and technological cooperation between Kazakh and American companies.