DFM Pitches Kazakh Business Opportunities in Latin America
Deputy Foreign Minister Yerzhan Ashikbayev last week toured Latin America to promote stronger political contacts and Kazakh economic opportunities while Mexican government and business representatives visited Kazakhstan to explore investment opportunities.
Kazakh and Chilean government representatives discussed bilateral relations during a May 3 meeting on business and trade. Ashikbayev briefed Chilean officials on Kazakh economic and political reforms to include the country among the 30 most-developed nations.
Chilean officials, led by Deputy Foreign Minister Milenko Skoknic, praised Kazakh activities as a nonpermanent member of the UN Security Council for 2017-2018. The group also discussed Chile’s agreement to participate in EXPO 2017 and Skoknic confirmed a business delegation led by Energy Minister Andres Rebolledo would visit Kazakhstan in August.
Ashikbayev then participated May 4 in Buenos Aires in talks with Argentinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs representatives, including Deputy Foreign Minister Pedro Villagra Delgado. The group discussed scientific and technical cooperation, particularly in aerospace, as well as economic cooperation. The Kazakh side proposed making list of goods with the greatest export potential and distributing it to Kazakh and Argentinian business circles.
Ashikbayev also discussed political cooperation with Argentine Foreign Minister Susana Malcorra. Ashikbayev said he hopes Kazakhstan and Argentina will cooperate on security, nonproliferation and disarmament.
Ashikbayev noted that Kazakhstan’s rich potential in the nuclear our industry could be used by Argentina at a meeting with Deputy Minister of Energy Daniel Redondo.
Argentina’s participation in the EXPO 2017 was discussed at a meeting with Minister for Media and Public Content of Argentina and Commissioner of Argentina at the expo Hernan Lombardi.
The Kazakh delegation then participated in Kazakh-Brazilian inter-ministerial consultations and held bilateral meetings with Brazilian officials.
Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Undersecretary General for Asia and the Pacific Georges Lamazière led the Brazilian delegation in discussing bilateral and multilateral cooperation, expanding bilateral trade and economic and investment cooperation, focusing on the Astana International Financial Center (AIFC).
Brazilian Secretary General of Foreign Affairs Marcos Galvão praised Kazakhstan’s foreign policy initiatives, including its priorities on the UNSC and efforts as an international mediator, including the Astana Process to resolve the Syrian crisis.
At Brazil’s Agency on Exports Promotion and Investments, Ashikbayev spoke about Kazakhstan’s investment opportunities and state support for investors. Kazakhstan offered to sell uranium to Brazil to cover the shortage of fuel for its atomic energy programme and help explore the large reserves of uranium ore in Brazil.
“There is untapped potential in Brazil and we have the know-how to run large projects,” Ashikbayev said after the meeting. “We proposed Kazakhstan’s participation in tenders for purchasing uranium or any other type of fuel that might be used in the Brazilian industry.”
Also last week, Mexican delegation visited Kazakhstan to explore business opportunities.
Mexican businesses have expressed interest in exporting vegetables and fruit, meat and coconut oil to Kazakhstan and developing tourism. They are also exploring investing in mining and metallurgy, buying Kazakhstan’s grain, coal, chemical products, fertilisers, pharmaceutical products, among others.
Mexico is the world’s 12th largest food exporter. Its main markets are the U.S., Europe and some Asian markets. To minimise transportation costs, they are planning to deliver products using a two-way air service.
“We have gathered the most advanced Mexican entrepreneurs. They have very strong interests in investing and transferring production to Kazakhstan … Any business can be launched and become a success, because there is consumption, there are markets, like the Eurasian Economic Union and China,” Ambassador of Kazakhstan to Mexico Andrian Yelemesov said at a briefing at the Kazakh Foreign Ministry.
He also proposed a group of “Friends of Kazakhstan,” consisting of Mexican and Kazakh businesspersons to formulate a list of “goods of interest, possible routes and the final cost of the goods.”
The Mexican delegation also met with the leadership of Kazakh ministries and departments and national companies, such as Kazakh Invest, KazMunaiGas, Tau-Ken Samruk, KazAgro and Baiterek.