Kazakhstan and Singapore Strengthen Investment Cooperation
The Kazakhstan-Singapore Business Forum took place in Astana, with the participation of the President of the Republic of Singapore, Halimah Yacob, and the Prime Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Alikhan Smailov. The event, organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan, "NC "KAZAKH INVEST" JSC, and the Singapore Business Federation, was attended by over 200 representatives from government bodies and business circles of both countries.
Singapore is an important partner of Kazakhstan in Southeast Asia. Several intergovernmental agreements have been concluded between the two countries aimed at deepening trade and economic cooperation. In 2022, the trade turnover between Kazakhstan and Singapore exceeded $1.92 billion, which is 60% higher than the previous year.
Since 2011, Singapore's direct investments in the Kazakh economy have amounted to about $1.26 billion. The portfolio of investment projects by Singaporean companies includes 13 projects totaling $642.6 million. Major companies such as Surbana Jurong, PSA, International Cement Group, and others are interested in working in Kazakhstan.
Speaking at the event, President Halimah Yacob of the Republic of Singapore and Prime Minister Alikhan Smailov of the Republic of Kazakhstan emphasized the importance of bilateral cooperation and expressed readiness to expand economic relations.
In their welcome speeches, Singapore's Minister for Trade and Industry, Dr. Tan See Leng, and Kazakhstan's Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Almas Aidarov, addressed the participants. The Deputy Head of the Foreign Ministry called on Singaporean businesses to consider opportunities for expanding their activities in Kazakhstan as a country with skilled workforce, a growing middle class, and abundant natural resources.
"Kazakhstan is a launching pad for the entire Central Asia, Western China, and the South Caucasus. Among the most promising areas, I can highlight infrastructure and construction, education, science and innovation, green financing and startup development, digital technologies, transportation and multimodal connections, food and tourism. Despite the successful operation of over 230 Singaporean companies and joint ventures in Kazakhstan, we have significant untapped potential for expanding and deepening our economic ties," said Almas Aidarov.
During the panel session, Nurlan Zhakupov, Chairman of the Board of Samruk-Kazyna JSC, delivered a presentation on the group of companies' activities, while Wan Chee Foong, Regional CEO of PSA International Pte Ltd, provided detailed information about the projects implemented by the Singaporean company in Kazakhstan and the company's prospects in the country.
Raimbek Batalov, Chairman of the Presidium of the National Chamber of Entrepreneurs "Atameken," highlighted the chamber's readiness to assist Singaporean businesses in establishing relationships with Kazakh entrepreneurs in his speech. Rustam Issataev, Deputy Akim of Almaty Region, presented the investment opportunities of the region, highlighted the prospective projects being implemented in the region, and assured readiness to facilitate the localization of Singaporean production in the region and further development of Kazakhstan-Singapore economic relations.
Dr. Uma Maheswaran Ramanathan, Chief Operating Officer of Surbana Jurong, shared information about the "G4 City" smart cities project being implemented in Almaty Region. According to the development concept of "G4 City," the integrated city will consist of four thematic districts covering a total area of 111,800 hectares and create over 1 million jobs. He stated that "G4 City" is a large-scale and unique project that will become a new innovative tourist center in Kazakhstan.
During the roundtable discussions, negotiation sessions involving representatives of businesses from both countries took place, and 12 documents totaling $275 million were signed.