In his speech, the President of Kazakhstan greeted the participants of the Kazakhstan-Emirates investment round table and thanked the Federation of UAE Chambers of Commerce and Industry for organizing the event. He highly appreciated the dynamic cooperation with the Emirates.
– The liaison between Kazakhstan and the United Arab Emirates is based on two pillars: huge economic potential and business interests, and mutual respect and common values. Exemplary relations have been established and maintained between our countries for more than 30 years. It is no coincidence that the UAE is our key regional trade and economic partner. The UAE has invested about $3 billion in Kazakhstan, and Kazakhstan has invested over a billion dollars in the Emirates. In 2022, the trade turnover between our countries amounted to $600 million. This is a great achievement. But there is still more to strive for, – said Kassym-Jomart Tokayev.
At the President’s meeting with Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, it was decided to increase trade to $1 billion.
– Of course, people sitting in this hall can help us achieve this goal. In addition, the international forum is scheduled for June in Astana. It will enable us to establish business and commercial relations between our companies, – stated the President.
Kassym-Jomart Tokayev named key sectors where Kazakhstan and the UAE could strengthen cooperation. According to him, Kazakhstan seeks partnership in agriculture. Kazakhstan is ready and willing to produce and supply organic agricultural products to the UAE market. The President invited Emirati companies to invest in Kazakhstan’s food industry.
– We are among the top ten countries with the most raw materials and rare earth metals. Kazakhstan is a major producer of uranium, titanium, chromium, and other materials. Many other deposits have not yet been explored. Given major technological shifts, the importance of raw materials will grow. We need investment and experience to realize our full potential in this sphere. To make the country more attractive for investors, we have adopted an advanced model contract for the development of complex gas and oil fields. It provides higher legal protection and tax benefits. We have also created the National Geological Survey and a digital platform to support investors. Starting from 2023, new strategic projects in the mining and metallurgical sector will be exempt from mineral extraction tax for up to five years, – said the President.
Kassym-Jomart Tokayev also noted that Kazakhstan and the UAE share a commitment to carbon neutrality. He wished the UAE success in holding COP28.
– Our country was the first in the CIS region to ratify the Paris Agreement and develop a national strategy for achieving carbon neutrality. By 2035, we plan to produce 11 gigawatts of clean energy and completely transform the energy sector. In this regard, we welcome the intention of Masdar to build a large wind farm in Kazakhstan. Renewable energy projects with storage capacity are our priority. We hope this is just the beginning. Given Emirati companies’ impressive results in the development of green hydrogen, I would also encourage you to explore similar opportunities in Kazakhstan,– said Kassym-Jomart Tokayev.
The President believes supply chain disruptions caused by geopolitical tensions have heightened the importance of logistics and transportation networks and projects. In his opinion, Kazakhstan opens direct access to markets with more than a billion consumers, including the Eurasian Economic Union, Central Asia, and China.
– Central Asia is a large and rapidly developing region that has a great future ahead. We plan to build cross-border trade and logistics centers to strengthen our ties in Central Asia. In addition, Kazakhstan is a large country that needs quality roads. Together with our neighbors and the European Union, we are creating the Digital Transport Corridor. Our goal is to remove all existing barriers and connect East and West, North and South. We believe that Emirati companies can benefit from these strengthened relationships. That is why I fully support cooperation with Abu Dhabi Ports to build maritime and port infrastructure in our country.
The President also expects the construction of Abu Dhabi Plaza in Astana to be completed soon. This building, the tallest in Central Asia, will become a symbol of the partnership between Kazakhstan and the UAE.
According to Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, our country is striving to become a regional technology hub in Central Asia.
– We are trying to digitalize our economy and public services. According to the UN, Kazakhstan ranks 28th in the world in e-government development and 8th in online services. In the short term, digitalization is expected to create 150,000 jobs and become the backbone of our economic development. We want to learn from leading Emirati companies in this area. Our cooperation with the G42 on the introduction of artificial intelligence, data management systems, and digitalization of healthcare systems is a good example of what the future holds for us, – stated the President.
Along with this, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev drew attention to the fact that Kazakhstan is actively working to create a strong world-class financial sector.
– Today, 1,700 companies from 64 countries are based in the Astana International Financial Center. The AIFC has a legal system based on common international law, an independent court and arbitration center, tax incentives and a special labor regime. Today, the Center actively cooperates with the Dubai International Financial Center and the Abu Dhabi Global Market. We would like to strengthen cooperation in the field of financial technologies, green finance, and Islamic finance.
The President expressed hope that the economic partnership between our countries will continue to diversify and expand.
– The government is ready to provide you with any support you need to do business in Kazakhstan. You can count on a safe and stable investment environment. I hope that today's meeting will stimulate economic cooperation between the two countries. We share a promising future. And our common goal is to turn these hopes into reality, – he said.
The event was also attended by Suhail Mohamed Al Mazrouei (UAE Minister of Energy and Infrastructure), Abdullah Al Mazrui (Chairman of the UAE Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry), Abdulla Al Marzooqi (Deputy Head of the Mubadala Investment Program for Russia and the CIS), Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi (Managing Director and CEO of Abu Dhabi Ports Group), Mansoor Almansoori (G42 Group COO), Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi (Masdar Chief Executive Officer), Abdullah bin Lahej (Ayana Holding Chairman), Rami Ghandour (Metito Managing Director), Khaled Al Badie (Al Badie Group Vice President and Chief Executive Officer), and Hamad Al Ali (Chief Executive Officer of Royal Strategic Partners).