“Doing Business with India” seminar held in Almaty


“Doing Business with India” seminar held in AlmatyThe Embassy of India in collaboration with the Kazakhstan Chamber of Commerce and Industry organized a Business Seminar titled “Doing Business with India” at Almaty on 3rd March, 2010. The Seminar was organized with the support of the Investment and Technology Promotion Division of the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India,a press release of the Indian Embassy in Kazakhstan reads.

The objective of the Seminar was to inform the Kazakh decision and policy makers and businessmen to focus on developing and promoting economic and commercial relations with India.

The Seminar was also designed to bridge the “information divide” that exists between the business communities of India and Kazakhstan by sharing and exchanging information on the prospects and potential for enhancing business and economic cooperation between the two countries.

The Seminar was inaugurated by H.E. Mr. Ashok Sajjanhar, Ambassador of India to Kazakhstan, Deputy Governor of Almaty, Mr. Serik Seidumanov, Head of the Kazakh Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Almaty Ambassador Bakyt Ospanov and the Vice President of the Kazakhstan Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

In his opening remarks, Ambassador Sajjanhar referred to the dynamic and vibrant growth in bilateral economic relations over the last few years, particularly since the visit of President Nazarbayev to India as the Chief Guest at India’s 60th Republic Day celebrations in January, 2009. Several important Agreements were signed and decisions taken during that visit to promote cooperation in different sectors including hydrocarbons, thermal power generation, healthcare, civil nuclear energy, petrochemicals, IT, pharmaceuticals, infrastructure, agriculture and others.

Ambassador Sajjanhar noted that significant  progress has taken place in several of these areas, some of which include Agreements by Indian pharmaceutical companies to establish joint ventures to manufacture drugs and pharmaceuticals in Kazakhstan; a Joint Venture Agreement between Indian and Kazakhstan companies to produce domestic and industrial radiators in Kazakhstan; a major Indian infrastructure company has been selected as the preferred bidder for a major highway project in Kazakhstan valued at USD 1.5 billion; opening of an India office by M/s Marcel Group, a large Kazakh firm to promote export of their consumer products to India; take over of a local bank by Punjab National Bank, one of the premier public sector banks in India to launch commercial operations in Kazakhstan; opening of a Regional office by Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited in Almaty to promote business in Central Asia, and several others.

Ambassador Sajjanhar also provided a brief account of the resilience and dynamism of the Indian economy which, notwithstanding the international economic crisis, grew by 6.7% in 2008-2009 and is expected to grow at 7.5% during the current financial year.  He said that India has continued to receive FDI of around USD 35 billion during the last two years which is testimony to the confidence that India enjoys amongst the international investors and financial community.  India’s savings rate has continued to grow and currently stands at 37% of its GDP. He expressed confidence that India will once again be able to achieve 9% growth in the very near future.

Ambassador Sajjanhar noted that Kazakhstan is rich in mineral resources while India enjoys immense advantage in technology and highly skilled manpower. He expressed India’s readiness to collaborate with Kazakhstan in the area of economic diversification and value addition, promote innovation and manufacture and develop its human resources and skilled manpower.  He urged the policy makers as well as businessmen and industrialists of Kazakhstan to upgrade their relations with India and take advantage of the vast opportunities that are available for further strengthening bilateral economic and commercial relations.

In his remarks, Deputy Governor Seidumanov, Ambassador Bakyt Ospanov and Vice President of Kazakhstan Chamber of Commerce and Industry Tatyana Zhdanova highly extolled the rapid growth of Indian economy over the last several years, notwithstanding the international financial crisis. They expressed confidence and determination to improve business and commercial relations between India and Kazakhstan. All of them warmly congratulated the Indian Embassy for several programmes and events organised by it to promote economic and commercial cooperation between the two countries.

Presentations were made on the present trends in the Indian economy and advantages of India as an investment destination in different sectors like IT, ITES, biotechnology, infrastructure, automotive components and others. Indian and Kazakh businessmen who participated in the Seminar spoke at length about the prospects and opportunities available for promoting bilateral cooperation particularly in sectors ranging from tourism, oil and gas, education, IT and pharmaceuticals to infrastructure, innovation, financial services and energy transmission and distribution etc.

The Seminar was attended by around 100 participants including Kazakh businessmen, Indian businessmen based in Kazakhstan, senior Kazakh officials, public sector organisations, educational institutions, Chambers of Сommerce and others.

The Seminar went a long way in informing the Kazakh businessmen about the opportunities and prospects of promoting economic and commercial cooperation between India and Kazakhstan.