President Tokayev participates in Kazakhstan-Italy investment roundtable
During his official visit to the Italian Republic, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev had a meeting with the local business community, representatives of about 30 world-level companies, Kazinform News Agency cites the Akorda press service.
Addressing the participants, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev informed the captains of Italian business on investment opportunities in Kazakhstan. Despite the geopolitical situation in the world, Kazakhstan retains confidently its position as the largest and one of the most rapidly developing economies in the region.
He said that in 2023, Kazakhstan’s economic growth was recorded at 5.1% which is almost twofold higher against the porjected global indicator. In a mid-term outlook, Kazakhstan sets a strategic goal to achieve a 6-7% growth which will enable the country to double its economy by 2029.
He informed the Italian side of the large-scale political and economic reforms launched in Kazakhstan.
Today, I want to announce that Kazakhstan will soon proceed to drastic reforms which will make our economy more transparent, sustainable and dynamic. Our goal is to bring the standards, rules and practices of doing business in Kazakhstan to the OECD level. We strive to create the investment climate complying with the highest global standards, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev stressed.
The President informed the Italian entrepreneurs of the legislative measures planned to be launched to expand the inflow of foreign direct investments to the country’s economy.
We have detected and eliminated unnecessary requirements to business to create more flexible and comfortable environment for business. The newly established Investment Council with broader powers will contribute to the implementation of investment projects due to prompt decisions and all-round governmental support, said the Kazakh President.
In his words, energy sector remains the main area of the two countries’ economic cooperation.
According to him, more than 80% of Kazakh oil is exported to Europe meeting about 10% of the EU’s demand.
Kassym-Jomart Tokayev thanked the Italian side for long-standing and reliable cooperation in energy sphere.
We highly appreciate the contribution of Eni, Italy’s flagship company, to the economy of Kazakhstan, he said.
He added that Kazakhstan provides wide opportunities in the field of exploration of oil and gas and implements best global practices to discover significant deposits. The President invited the Italian companies to join maintenance projects in oil and gas sector of Kazakhstan.
Speaking of the prospects of interaction in renewable energy, he highlighted that Kazakhstan became the first country in the region to ratify the Paris Agreement and undertake the commitment to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060.
Kazakhstan’s potential in renewable energy is estimated at 1 trillion KW/h which sparks the interest of such major global companies as France’s Total, Saudi Arabia’s ACWA Power, UAE’s Masdar and German-Swedish company Svevind Energy Group. These companies intend to implement the projects on generation of 43GWt of renewable energy. As far as I know, green energy sources ensure one third of electricity in Italy. Given their experience, Italian business could join the ranks of these companies, the Kazakh President said.
With the consideration of technological revolution and projected multiple growth of the global demand in a foreseeable future, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev called on the Italian business for the cooperation in extraction and processing of critical minerals.
According to the World Bank estimates, Kazakhstan has more than 5,000 unexplored deposits amounting to more than 46 trillion US dollars. Today we produce 19 out of 34 critical minerals needed for the European Union’s economy, he said adding that the deposits of nine more minerals, like cobalt, tungsten, lithium and others could be developed in Kazakhstan with the attraction of foreign investors.
Another important sphere of cooperation is transport and logistics sector.
According to Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, Kazakhstan is actively involved in the development of the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route.
The Middle Corridor complements effectively Belt and Road Initiative. We intend to link it to the Trans-Eurasian Transport Network of the European Union and the Global Gates Strategy, he said.
Kassym-Jomart Tokayev also noted that Kazakhstan backs the G7+ Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment (PGII) initiative.
In his words, Kazakhstan has invested more than 35 billion US dollars in transport infrastructure, and plans to build more than 1,300 kilometers of railroad. This will enable to increase the transportation of goods towards China, Southern Asia and Europe.
He then invited the Italian investors to join the development of seaports in Kazakhstan, production of transport vessels, and creation of logistics centers.
He reminded the attendees of 13 international routes running through the territory of Kazakhstan and direct flights launched between Almaty and Milan.
Kazakhstan welcomes the plans to launch direct flights between Astana and Rome and Milan. This will contribute, undoubtedly, to the development of our economic relations, ties between the nations and promotion of tourism, the Kazakh President said.
Kassym-Jomart Tokayev then spoke on the potential of Kazakhstan in agriculture.
More than 70% of our territory is suitable for farming, which makes our country a ‘breadbasket’ of the Central Asian region. Kazakhstan ranks among the world’s Top 10 producers of wheat and flour. Our agricultural products are supplied to more than 80 countries of the world. With the consideration of rising food shortage in the world, we set a task to triple this sector’s productivity and double the exports. Kazakhstan is interested in the development of cooperation with the Italian partners in growing grain and oil seed crops and in production of pasta, meat and milk, he said.
He also informed the meeting participants about investment opportunities in biotechnology and pharmaceutics, and invited a number of Italian companies to localize their production in Kazakhstan.
The Kazakh leader also spoke on the advantages of IT sector development and the Astana International Financial Centre.
Kassym-Jomart Tokayev assured the attendees of Kazakhstan’s readiness to provide all-round support to the promising investors. He also invited them to participate in the Astana International Economic Forum.
Deputy Chairman of the Council of Ministers - Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Italian Republic Antonio Tajani, CDP Group CEO Dario Scannapieco, Vice President for Internationalization of Confindustria Barbara Beltrame Giacomello, CONFAPI President Christian Camisa, President of Leonardo SpA Stefano Pontecorvo, Chief Executive Officer of Fincantieri SpA Pierroberto Folgiero, Chief Executive Officer of PetrolValves Sandro Malquori, Chief Executive Office of Pietro Fiorentini Paolo Nardi and others presented their vision of the prospects of developing cooperation with Kazakhstan.
Following documents were signed upon completion of the roundtable meeting:
- Agreement between JSC Samruk-Kazyna and Balestra, which determines the terms and conditions of implementation of the project on construction of a vitriol plant with the capacity of 800,000 tons per annum in Taikonyr village of Suzak district in Turkistan region;
- Framework agreement between JSC Baiterek Holding and SACE on setting a limit on insurance of deals with Italy’s participation in investment projects in priority sectors of economy;
- Agreement between JSC Samruk-Energy and Ansaldo Energia SpA on reconstruction of Almaty Thermal Power Plant 3 with the construction of a combined-cycle gas turbine with the capacity of 544 MW.
- Memorandum of cooperation between Atameken National Entrepreneurship Chamber and Confiindustria to support Italian enterprises in Kazakhstan and Kazakhstani companies in Italy, as well as to strengthen the economic and trade relations between Kazakh and Italian businesses.