On October 5, 2021, Madrid hosted the 6th session of the Kazakhstan-Spain Business Council, aimed at enhancing cooperation in entrepreneurship and attracting Spanish investors in Kazakhstan.
The Business Council was held during the 9th meeting of the Kazakh-Spanish Intergovernmental Commission on Cooperation in Economy and Industry.
The Council was attended by Kairat Torebaev (Vice Minister of Trade and Integration of the Republic of Kazakhstan), representatives of government bodies and businesses of both countries, and a delegation of Baiterek Holding represented by Aidar Arifkhanov (Chairman of the Board) and top managers of the Holding’s subsidiaries: Ainur Kuatova of the Kazyna Capital Management, Gaukhar Buribayeva of the Damu Entrepreneurship Development Fund, Rustam Isaev of the Kazakhstan Housing Company, and Duman Aubakirov of the Development Bank of Kazakhstan.
– The pandemic has affected every aspect of life and, in particular, trade and economic relations between our countries. However, our Spanish partners expressed the need to convene the Business Council offline, albeit with a delay of one year. It demonstrated the genuine interest of our Spanish colleagues in an effective bilateral business dialogue between the two countries, – said Aidar Arifkhanov, co-chairman of the Business Council, Chairman of the Board of Baiterek Holding.
Aidar Arifkhanov told his Spanish colleagues about the holding's support of priority sectors of the economy and work with investors and the business community to find and support investment projects.
– Spain has extensive experience and practice in the implementation of projects in construction, energy, food production, transport industry, and the management of social infrastructure – hospitals and educational institutions. I invite Spanish businessmen to Kazakhstan to implement joint projects, – concluded Aidar Arifkhanov.
Jose Manuel Vargas, co-chairman of the Business Council, CEO of MAXAM, noted that Spanish investors are interested in establishing contacts with large Kazakhstani metallurgy companies and are ready to consider promising projects.
During his visit to Madrid, Aidar Arifkhanov met with CEOs of Spanish companies. He met with Fernando Salazar, President of CESCE (Spanish state-owned export credit insurance company) and discussed bilateral cooperation. The meeting resulted in the signing a Memorandum of cooperation between the Development Bank of Kazakhstan and CESCE.
– The Development Bank of Kazakhstan, being the Holding’s subsidiary, is interested in supporting exports to the markets of other countries, including the EU market. The Memorandum will enable our companies to work together on projects on mechanical engineering, agro-industrial complex, food industry and others, – said Duman Aubakirov.
In addition, representatives of Baiterek Holding met with Maria Peña, Chairman of the Board of the ICEX (Spanish Institute for Foreign Trade). ICEX works with major Spanish business organizations, chambers of commerce, and industry groups. This organization has over 100 offices around the world.
Other Spanish companies also expressed their desire to cooperate with Baiterek Holding. Thus, COFIDES (Spanish financing company) signed memorandums with the Holding’s subsidiaries – the Development Bank of Kazakhstan and the Kazyna Capital Management.
– Today's agreement is a first step towards exploring the potential benefits and growth opportunities for both parties. Partnership with a key financial institution in Spain will improve the competence of the Kazyna Capital Management in the field of private equity and venture financing. Combining project implementation expertise with the Spanish company will help form a sustainable investment portfolio in priority sectors. In addition, the COFIDES, being an accredited EU entity, will allow the EU funding to be used in blended finance initiatives, – stated Ainur Kuatova.
In addition, Aidar Arifkhanov held a meeting with Jose Manuel Vargas, CEO of MAXAM, and Jose Manuel Martinez, CEO of AJUSA.
MAXAM is a global company owning more than 140 subsidiaries that design and manufacture explosives and systems for the mining and construction industries. AJUSA is a leading international manufacturer of automotive gaskets/sets, cylinder head bolt sets, and hydraulic lifters.
At the end of the visit, the delegation of Baiterek Holding visited the waste processing plant in Madrid.