France, Kazakhstan Business Council Meets In Astana
A meeting of the Kazakh-French Business Council was held in Astana on April 26.
Established in 2008, the Kazakh-French Business Council is a platform for dialogue between Kazakh and French business, the Atameken National Chamber of Entrepreneurs of Kazakhstan reported.
“From 2005 to 2015, France’s investments in Kazakhstan amounted to about 11.4 billion dollars. In our country, 128 enterprises with the participation of French capital successfully operate, including Total, Areva, Air Liquide, Danone, Vicat, PSA, and Alstom. Traditionally, oil and gas projects are the focus of the biggest interest of France. But the prospects for our economic relations are much broader. There is a great potential that is not fully utilized. And this is investment in the industry, especially in the agro-industrial complex – food and agricultural production. Kazakhstan is now actively promoting the program for the development of industrial production, attracting strategic investors who can become drivers of development for the entire industry. Therefore, there is an interest in French companies and technologies,” said Nurzhan Altaev, the vice-chairman of the Atameken National Chamber of Entrepreneurs of Kazakhstan and co-chairman of KFBC.
“We propose to consider Kazakhstan as a ‘window’ to the market of China,” Altaev added.
A large business delegation including representatives of leading companies and economic organizations arrived from France to participate in the Council meeting.
The meeting discussed bilateral trade and economic cooperation. In particular, French companies were interested in cooperation in the areas of construction, engineering, oil and gas industry, production of industrial valves and fittings, transport and equipment, integrated digital security, consulting and banking.
In recent years France has been ranked 5th in the list of Kazakhstan’s trade partners (after Russia, China, the Netherlands and Italy) and 3rd in terms of direct investment in Kazakhstan.
In 2016, mutual trade amounted to $1.137 billion. The main products of Kazakhstani export were oil, metal, chemical and agricultural products.
Kazakhstan imports from France electric, electronic and mechanical equipment, consumer goods, medicines and cosmetics, automobiles, food products, and building materials.
The visa-free regime for short-term trips (up to 15 days) of French citizens to Kazakhstan has been extended until December 31, 2017.
by `CT Report