Kazakhstan-German cooperation: focus on investment
German investors commended Kazakhstan’s investment potential and agreed to develop a roadmap for expansion of Kazakhstan-Germany investment cooperation and to create a list of joint strategic projects - the outcome of the Foreign Minister’s visit to Berlin.
During the first official visit to Germany on 20 August 2019, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan Beibut Atamkulov headed the Kazakhstan-German business roundtable. The leadership of the German Eastern Business Association and 20 large German companies with a combined capitalization of over $ 180 billion, including Linde Group, GEA Group, Deutsche Post, TUI Group, CLAAS KGaA mbH, Schaeffler Technologies AG & Co. KG, Deichmann SE, LEMKEN GmbH & Co. KG, as well as Tönnies Holding ApS & Co. KG, Böhmer GmbH, among others, attended the event.
The participants of the roundtable conducted bilateral negotiations, discussed the country's investment climate, experience of operating in Kazakhstan and outlined further prospects for mutually beneficial cooperation in the fields of machinery building, agribusiness, petrochemistry, construction, transportation, light industry and others.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs Beibut Atamkulov explained in detail key development areas of Kazakhstan economy. German business was invited to participate in implementation of programmes for industrialisation, digitalisation, economy of “simple things”, development of green economy, the Astana International Financial Center, etc.
Established business linkages, including the Intergovernmental Working Group on Trade and Economic Cooperation, the Kazakh-German Business Council, the Berlin Eurasian Club, facilitate further investment cooperation. The Agreement on partnership in commodity, industry and technology fields signed during the visit of the First President of Kazakhstan - Elbasy Nursultan Nazarbayev to Berlin in February 2012 plays an important role.
During the discussion, the Deputy CEO of Kazakh Invest Rustam Issatayev elaborated on the investment opportunities for German companies in Kazakhstan, growth prospects and measures of state support for investment activities. He noted that intensive negotiations were being conducted with five companies expressing interest in implementing investment projects in Kazakhstan.
The speakers from the German side shared their experience of operating in Kazakhstan, emphasising the advantages of an access to the nearby markets of the EAEU, China, the Middle East, Central Asia and wide opportunities for business expansion and investment. The German business showed particular interest in the country’s agribusiness - from livestock and food industries to agricultural machinery and production of flaxseed oil and mineral fertilisers.
The Chairman-Supervisory Board for CLAAS KGaA mbH, the Deputy Chairman of the Board of German Eastern Business Association Cathrina Claas-Mühlhäuser noted the positive dynamics in the development of trade and economic cooperation: “Today, Kazakhstan is the most important partner in Central Asia. With introduction of new functions of Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, our cooperation has been noticeably gaining new momentum. Today’s meeting with the Foreign Minister has clearly demonstrated this.”
Jurgen Lohmeyer, the Vice President of Deutsche Post International, spoke about the positive trends in development of Kazakhstan’s transport and logistics potential. He noted that over the past 5 years, the volume of freight transportation through Kazakhstan from China to Europe and in the opposite direction had significantly increased.
The parties agreed to develop a roadmap for enhancement of Kazakhstan-Germany investment cooperation and to create a list of joint strategic projects.
Kazakhstan delegation included the First Deputy Minister of Agriculture Aidarbek Saparov, the First Deputy Mayor of North Kazakhstan region Marat Tasmaganbetov, the heads of the Kazakhstan Electricity Grid Operating Company (KEGOC), KazAgro, Kazgeology, DBK-Leasing, Kazakh Invest, AgromashHolding and other representatives of Kazakhstan’s business community.