New Silk Road presents significant investment opportunities in Kazakhstan, attendees of Zurich conference told
The third New Silk Road Forum focused on the potential to create new infrastructure, energy and trade links through the Belt & Road Initiative (BRI) was organized in Zurich, Switzerland on September, 18 in partnership with the Swiss-Chinese Chamber of Commerce.
Speaking at the forum, François Bernard an independent member of the Board of Directors of Kazakh Invest and Chairman of its Investment Attraction & Support Committee, highlighted that the New Silk Road was concentrating interest in Kazakhstan’s investment potential. François Bernard explained also to attendees how key infrastructure and financial projects in Kazakhstan facilitate regional trade and are positioning Kazakhstan as a strategic link in the New Silk Road, the so-called "Buckle in the Belt!
In addition, answering to the question of the audience, Mr Bernard explained also how the Astana International Financial Center (AIFC), as a financial hub, will contribute to the development of the BRI through providing financial and legal instruments to investors.
Mr. Bernard noted that Kazakh Invest - the investment support and promotion agency of Kazakhstan – was currently supporting international investors across a wide range of sectors including agriculture, infrastructure, energy, logistics, machinery, mining and petrochemicals.
Attendees were told of how new investment projects in Kazakhstan were strengthening the growth of the New Silk Road and helping a wide range of regional businesses to develop and thrive.
The development of the New Silk Road has seen a substantial increase in the number of freight containers travelling from Asia to Europe via Kazakhstan. By 2020 the number of freight containers travelling through Kazakhstan is expected to grow from 550,000 to almost 1.7 million. Over 200,000 additional jobs will be created and an estimated $7 billion of infrastructure investment is expected in Kazakhstan over the next 5 years.
The Khorgos Gateway - a dry port on the China-Kazakhstan border, currently represents a key logistics hub on the New Silk Road. Over 16,000 containers pass through the port daily on route to Europe and beyond.
Mr. Bernard stressed that there were many ”fantastic opportunities available” for Swiss companies to invest in Kazakhstan’s untapped potential and that Kazakh Invest could provide end-to-end support for businesses during their investment journey.
Notes to Editor: François Bernard is Director & COO of SONECOM specializing in international investment activities. He is an independent member of Kazakh Invest’s Board of Directors and Chairman of its Investment Attraction & Support Committee.
The Joint Chamber of Commerce Switzerland-CIS/Georgia (JCC) organizes seminar and conference on Central Asia and the South Caucasus. The conference was run in partnership with the Swiss-Chinese Chamber of Commerce (SCCC). The Forum was titled "New Silk Road Forum III - China's 'One Belt, One Road' Initiative (BRI): Creating New Infrastructure, Energy and Trade Linkages from China through Russia, Central Asia and the South Caucasus to Europe". It took place on September 18, 2018 at OBC-Suisse AG, Zurich.