“Karaganda cement plant" is the biggest and the oldest cement plant in Kazakhstan. In 1998 a majority stake of the plant was bought by Malaysian entrepreneurs and the company was renamed "Central Asia Cement". The plant is located in Aktau settlement of Karaganda Region.

We have talked to Javier del Ser, Chairman of the Board of Directors, CAC about the company development in Kazakhstan.

Mr. del Ser, could you please tell us briefly about the company activities in Kazakhstan?

- Central Asia Cement manufactures and sells cement in Kazakhstan through its subsidiaries Karcement and Central Asia Cement. The factory has two dry kilns and four wet kilns. The total current capacity is 2 million tons. The main clients are in Karaganda, Astana, Almaty and North Kazakhstan. We are currently exporting  to Russia, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan.

Why did you decide to invest in Kazakhstan and how do you appreciate Kazakhstan’s investment climate?

- We first invested in 1998 at a time when the demand in Kazakhstan was 1 million tons per year, today it is 9 million tons and we remain the market leader. We liked the government open policies towards investors and the government plans for further liberalization.

Most of the policy plans announced then have been largely fulfilled and the government continues to promote the right environment although it is, of course, conditioned by the surrounding environment.

What is the amount of investment for this project (US$) and what is ROI (return on investment)?

- We have invested close to US$ 200 million by today. It is difficult to calculate the return on investment as it has been largely affected by the devaluation and the currency fluctuation of the surrounding countries. Over the period, the return has varied between +20% and -6% with an average of 5-8%. 

What prospects do you see in Kazakhstan and what are the plans for the near future?

- After a big wave of investment in the sector from 2007 to 2013, the cement market is currently saturated. Investment will mostly be done in logistics, process improvement and downstream operations. The market will most likely evolve to be close to the final user with increasing level of sophistication.

 Thank you! We wish you prosperity and successful business! 

And today the National Day of Malaysia is being celebrated within the framework of EXPO 2017. The event was visited by Senator  Dato Sri SK Devamany, Acting Deputy Minister of Energy, Green Technology and Water who gave an opening speech.   

73 Malaysian enterprises had been registered in Kazakhstan by June, 1 2017, 34 out of them are operating.

FDI inflow from Malaysia to Kazakhstan during 2005-2016 including came to US$ 15.2 million. FDI outflow from Kazakhstan to Malaysia during the same period was US$ 3 million.