Dubai Exports, the export promotion agency of the Department of Economic Development - Government of Dubai, will lead a multi-sector trade mission to the Central Asian republic of Kazakhstan this year as part of stimulating dialogue and partnerships between businesses and officials on both sides.
The mission, scheduled to tour Kazakhstan from the 5th to 7th of September, will specifically look at enabling businesses in the UAE and Kazakhstan to market their export capabilities by taking advantage of the ongoing economic diversification and growth in both countries.
The largest among the former Soviet republics after Russia and the ninth largest country in the world, Kazakhstan is blessed with vast farmlands as well as abundant hydrocarbons and mineral wealth. A successful transition to free market and progressive economic and social reforms have seen the country growing at seven per cent annually.
Kazakhstan was also the first of the former Soviet republics to receive an investment-grade credit rating in 2002. The country has since attracted US$118 billion in accumulated foreign investment, with an economic policy emphasising diversification into non-oil sectors.
The Dubai Exports Trade Mission will seek to introduce UAE businesses to sectors that show a strong appetite for imported products and expertise in Kazakhstan. “We strongly believe that our firms can make considerable inroads in a country such as Kazakhstan, which offers huge opportunities in a host of areas, from oil and gas extraction to food processing and packaging,” said Engineer Saed Al Awadi, CEO of Dubai Exports.
The mission, organised in co-operation with the Consulate General of Kazakhstan in Dubai, will tour the key Kazakh cities of Almaty and Astana. The mission is also due to coincide with Kazbuild, the largest exhibition for the thriving construction sector in Kazakhstan where modernisation is driving demand for state-of-the-art machinery and processes.
“UAE based companies can meet the huge demand in the construction sector in Kazakhstan as they have a proven track record and world-class products as well services. Over the last few years, UAE firms have invested heavily in acquiring advanced technology and processes and they are now ideally placed to capitalise on their strengths,” added Al Awadi.
Participants in the delegation will also get the opportunity to evaluate export potentials for innovative and high quality services and technology in other fast-growing service sectors such as healthcare and pharmaceuticals in Kazakhstan. Kazakhstan has made it a top priority to create an efficient public healthcare network focusing on prevention, rehabilitation, training of medical personnel and development of the pharmaceutical industry.
In 2010 Kazakhstan spent approximately US$2.75 billion on healthcare and by 2014, 50 per cent of the medicines required in the country will be manufactured locally. The planned modernisation of pharmaceutical facilities to meet this target is a valuable opportunity for UAE-based companies to partner with investors and producers in Kazakhstan.
The Dubai Exports mission will meet high level government officials, prominent business leaders and investment bodies in Kazakhstan as part of initiating long-term dialogue and enabling UAE firms to establish their presence in the Central Asian republic. The delegation will also attend briefings on the macroeconomic situation, legal and regulatory environment, banking sector, privatisation and investment climate in Kazakhstan.
Encouraging Kazakh investors to take advantage of Dubai’s regional hub status is also among the goals of the mission. Dubai as an export base will be a competitive proposition for landlocked Kazakhstan, now dependent on its neighbours for exports. Regular flights between Kazakhstan and UAE are an added attraction for such improved engagement.
“We strongly believe that for opportunities of investment and trade to really flourish, it must be a two-way street. Therefore, we are encouraging companies in the trade mission to not only look at export opportunities but to also consider investment possibilities,” said His Excellency Shokybayev Askar, Consular General of Kazakhstan in Dubai.
“Dubai is centrally located within the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia, and thus enables businesses to quickly and efficiently source and deliver goods and services. With a unique infrastructure that offers the fastest link to a population of around two billion, Dubai is also the best location for companies worldwide to base re-export operations,” said Al Awadi.