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President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev took part in the Kazakhstan – Qatar Investment Roundtable

February 14, 2024

Doha, Qatar

The Head of State expressed gratitude to the Government of Qatar and the “Qatari Businessmen Association” for their constant support for the development of economic relations between the countries. According to him, now, when the world is facing unprecedented challenges, it is crucial to carefully combine political will and economic activity.

– Today I had a productive discussion with the leadership of Qatar. We have reached agreements on various domains and instructed our Governments to work closely on their implementation. I am confident that my visit will open up new horizons for further strengthening our multifaceted relations. Under the stewardship of His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani Qatar has made great strides. It has become a role model for many other countries. Your beautiful country is known for its rapidly growing economy, high-living standards and prosperous society. Your national program “Qatar – 2030” boldly and uniquely combines modernization and national values. I wish you all, our Qatari friends, success in reaching this noble goal, – the President said

He said that the path our country has chosen has some similarities with Qatar's. Kazakhstan's open door policy, vast resources and free market reforms have attracted many foreign companies, including those from Qatar. Building a diversified and sustainable economy is a top priority for Kazakhstan.

– I initiated a New Economic Course. This initiative is focused on structural reforms to build a stronger and more dynamic nation. This is an ambitious but achievable task. Last year Kazakhstan’s GDP reached $265 billion. Our new goal is $450 billion by 2029. Kazakhstan accounts for 70% of the overall GDP of all five Central Asian states and registered economic growth of 5.1% last year, almost twice the projected rate of global growth. In the mid-term, we plan to sustain at least 6% growth. Finally, in 2022, we attracted $28 billion FDI, while foreign trade turnover amounted to $136 billion. We have launched a new investment cycle in line with the highest global standards to ensure that Kazakhstan remains the region’s primary FDI destination, – said Kassym-Jomart Tokayev.

The Kazakh leader expressed his hope that many of those present at the event will contribute to the successful development of Kazakh-Qatari economic relations. For its part, the state is ready to provide tax and customs preferences, co-financing of projects, partial guarantees and export support mechanisms.

– We have also recently created a high-powered investment board chaired by our First Deputy Prime-Minister. It will bolster implementation of investment projects through prompt decision-making and comprehensive end-to-end state support. We cordially invite Qatari companies to invest in the Kazakh market and explore new business opportunities, – stressed Kassym-Jomart Tokayev.

He proposed to intensify the efforts of the Kazakhstan-Qatar Joint High-Level Commission and the Business Council to bring the partnership to a new level. Kazakhstan expects that the recently ratified Agreement on Encouragement and Mutual Protection of Investments will strengthen investment cooperation between the countries.

– Today during my meeting with His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, I proposed to increase bilateral trade up to half a billion dollars as a first step.  We can offer the Qatari market high-quality goods such as machinery, iron, steel, agricultural products and many more. Our market also offers access to the Eurasian Economic Union market with a total GDP of 2.6 trillion dollars. We have common border with China as well that gives good opportunities to make trade with this Juggernaut using One Belt One Road project, – the Head of State emphasized.

According to President, today Kazakhstan and Qatar are more closely connected than ever before due to visa-free regime and almost 20 direct weekly flights. At the same time, our country is actively diversifying and expanding its transit and logistics capabilities.

– Our major sustainable infrastructure projects include Aktau Port, one of the Caspian Sea’s largest hubs, Astana and Almaty International airports, multiple dynamic railway and road networks, as well as high-quality logistical hubs. We pin great hopes on the development of the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route, the so-called Middle Corridor. We believe that Qatari companies and financial institutions can derive significant benefits by exploring business and investment opportunities in this field. Today we are signing various commercial documents totaling almost 18 billion dollars of investments. This is an indication of our determination to elevate our economic cooperation, – noted the Kazakh leader.

According to Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, the energy sector is the basis of cooperation between the two countries. Kazakhstan is ready to provide ample opportunities for oil and gas exploration.

– We are implementing the best global practices to enable substantial discoveries. To this end, I invite Qatari energy companies to actively participate in geological exploration, petrochemicals, transportation, and oil and gas processing projects. Today we expect to sign Term Sheets with Power International Holding for the construction of gas processing plants at the Kashagan field as well as gas pipelines for «Beineu – Bozoi – Shymkent» and «Aktobe – Kostanay» segments. This is a very promising endeavor. We hope that negotiations for the construction of another gas processing project at Kashagan will soon yield practical results,– said the President.

Special attention in the speech was paid to interaction in the renewable energy sector. Kazakhstan's huge renewable energy potential, estimated at one trillion kilowatt-hours, has attracted the attention of global players who have committed to implement projects with a capacity of 43 gigawatts.

– We welcome Nebras Power’s intentions to implement a 350 Megawatt hydroelectric power plant and Pearl Overseas’ plans to construct a 1.1 Gigawatt combined-cycle plants in Kazakhstan. We look forward to more partnerships in production, transfer of technology or expertise in this vital sector, – said President Tokayev.

He invited Qatari companies to participate in the extraction and processing of critical raw materials such as cobalt, lithium and other raw materials necessary for the global economy. At the same time, the Head of State emphasized that he has high hopes for partnership in the field of agriculture.

– Being the ninth largest country in the world by its territory, 70% of which is arable, makes us a reliable Central Asian breadbasket. Today our agricultural products are already exported to more than 80 countries. We aim to triple the productivity of this sector and thereby double its exports. Kazakhstan can supply «halal» and organic agricultural products to the Qatari market. I am aware of Hassad Food’s interest in the construction of a deep grain and pea processing plant. We stand ready to support this initiative. We are also interested in developing the production of meat, fruit, vegetable, grain, flour and other products with further direct supply to Qatar, – the President said.

The speech also noted that the digitalization sector is high on the agenda of both countries as they strive to become leading technology hubs.

– Kazakhstan is recognized as a top 30 country by the United Nations for adapting digital technologies. In the last 3 years, IT-exports increased by 16 times to roughly $500 million. To boost our competitiveness, we are pioneering the development of artificial intelligence technologies by constructing supercomputers and data centers. Together with our neighbors, we also plan to build fiber-optic cables along the Caspian Sea and to extend connectivity with Gulf countries. We very much welcome Power International Holding’s plans to become a one of the key players in Kazakhstan’s telecommunication market, – stressed Kassym-Jomart Tokayev.

The leader of Kazakhstan called another important area of interaction between the two countries contacts in the field of medicine, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology.

In addition, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev reminded that the Astana International Financial Center (AIFC) has established strong business connections with the Qatar Central Bank, Qatar Financial Center and Qatar Stock Exchange. In his opinion, the establishment of a Kazakh-Qatari direct investment fund in the AIFC could serve as a platform for financing joint ventures in both countries.

Concluding his speech, the Head of State invited Qatari businessmen to take part in the Astana International Forum in June 2024.

The roundtable was also addressed by Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Qassim Al Thani, Qatar's Minister of Commerce and Industry, Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim Al Thani, Chairman of Qatari Businessmen Association, Sheikh Khalifa bin Jassim bin Mohammed Al Thani, Chairman of Qatar Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Khalid Mohammed Jolo, CEO of Nebras Power, Ali Hilal Al-Kuwari, CEO of Hassad Food, Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad Al-Thani, Qatar Free Zone CEO, and others.

Following the results of the round table a number of documents were signed between business circles of Kazakhstan and Qatar.

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