Kassym-Jomart Tokayev presented most promising areas of cooperation with South Korea at Kazakhstan-Korean business forum

Kazakhstan-Korea Business Forum
President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev addresses the Kazakhstan-Korea Business Forum in Astana Photo credit: Akorda

The President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev and the President of South Korea Yoon Suk Yeol took part in the Kazakhstan-Korean business forum held in Astana, Kazinform News Agency correspondent reports.

Welcoming the participants of the event, President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev noted in his speech that the Republic of Korea is one of the five largest investment and trade partners of Kazakhstan. He added that the influx of direct investment from Korea into the country's economy has reached almost ten billion dollars, and mutual trade turnover has reached six billion dollars.

“Today, there are over 700 South Korean companies represented on our market, including such global corporations as “Hyundai”, “KIA”, “Samsung”, “LG”, “Doosan” and many others. Kazakhstan intends to strengthen its position as the main trade and economic partner of the Republic of Korea in the Central Asian region. This was discussed during the negotiations today. Specific plans have been developed and agreements have been signed, which will certainly give additional impetus to the development of multifaceted cooperation between our countries. This is especially relevant now - in an era of radical restructuring of the world economy, when the Asian continent is becoming a leader in sustainable development and scientific and technological progress. According to experts, this year Asia will provide 60% of the growth of global gross domestic product. At the same time, South Korea undoubtedly plays the most important role in the “Asian Renaissance,” said Kassym-Jomart Tokayev.

Further, the President of Kazakhstan presented in his speech the most promising areas of trade and economic cooperation between the two countries.

Oil-gas industry and supply of rare metals

President of Kazakhstan called on the Republic of Korea to cooperate in subsoil use and industry. He emphasized the importance of transferring South Korean technologies and establishing the production of equipment and spare parts for the oil and gas industry, especially in the context of the expansion of the Tengiz, Kashagan and Karachaganak fields. Tokayev also noted the prospects for geological exploration and proposed a cooperation model of “investment and technology in exchange for raw materials.”

Then, the President of Kazakhstan stated that, according to experts, global demand for rare metals will quadruple by 2040. He emphasized that Kazakhstan has significant mineral reserves and can become a reliable partner for South Korea in the supply of raw materials and supplies necessary for economic development.

Kassym-Jomart Tokayev also noted the interest of South Korean companies, such as “KIGAM” and “SK ecoplant”, in the development of lithium deposits in Kazakhstan and expressed readiness for cooperation in this area.

Automotive industry and creation of auto component cluster

Kassym-Jomart Tokayev noted the successful cooperation between Kazakhstan and South Korea in the automotive industry.

“Hyundai cars are successfully assembled in Kazakhstan. Next year we expect to launch a full-cycle Kia plant with an investment volume of $200 million,” said the President of Kazakhstan.

He also added that this is the first time that “Kia” is investing in a plant outside of South Korea.

Further, the President noted that companies such as “Sejong”, “EHWA”, “Yongsan” and “Motrex” plan to develop the automotive industry in Kazakhstan and create a cluster for the production of auto components.

Cooperation in the field of green energy

The President of Kazakhstan emphasized the importance of expanding cooperation with South Korea in the field of green energy against the backdrop of the global energy transition. He expressed hope for active interaction with South Korean companies in the exchange of experience, implementation of projects and technology transfer.

He also noted the interest in the development of traditional energy sources and welcomed the plans of Doosan Enerbility to build gas power plants in the Turkistan and Atyrau regions.

Agriculture partnership

Kassym-Jomart Tokayev announced the strengthening of partnership in the field of agriculture through modernization of the agricultural industry.

“Kazakhstan traditionally has a strong agro-industrial complex and our agricultural products are exported to more than 80 countries. We intend to transform and modernize the agro-industrial complex into a high-tech industry,” said the President of Kazakhstan.

He also expressed interest in South Korean innovative agricultural technologies based on artificial intelligence.

“Today, the President of the Republic of Korea made a proposal to provide Kazakhstan with technologies based on the principle of “smart agricultural farms.” I think this is a very good proposal, and we will work on the implementation of this project. We are very interested in introducing South Korean innovative agricultural technologies based on artificial intelligence, robotics and biotechnology. Our farmers are especially in demand for the experience of building highly efficient smart greenhouses,” added Kassym-Jomart Tokayev.

Interaction in the field of urban development and creation of comfortable living conditions for people

The Head of State called on Korean companies to participate in the project to create a smart city.

“In partnership with Singaporean companies, we have begun construction of a new smart city, Alatau City, the territory of which is classified as a special economic zone. It is planned that it will become a leading international business hub not only for Kazakhstan, but also for the entire region. We hope for the active participation of South Korean investors and development companies,” said Kassym-Jomart Tokayev.

Partnership in digital and financial sectors

Kassym-Jomart Tokayev invited South Korean partners to cooperate in the field of AI, construction of data centers and cybersecurity, as well as in the creation of innovation clusters, technology parks and incubators to transform scientific ideas into successful products.

The forum was also attended by President of the Republic of Korea Yoon Suk Yeol, Chairman of the Korean International Trade Association (Co-Chairman of the Business Council) Yoon Jin-sik, CEO of Samruk-Kazyna Fund Nurlan Zhakupov, CEO of Astana Motors Beknur Nesipbayev, Vice President of Doosan Enerbility Yunho Yang, Deputy Chairman of the Board for Strategy and Digitalization of "Kazakhstan Temir Zholy" Anuar Akhmetzhanov, Lee Junhyuk, Director of the SK Ecoplant branch in Almaty, Ardak Zebeshev, Deputy Akim of the Kyzylorda region and others.

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