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Kazakhstan-U.S. Business Forum debate energy and mining industry development

17 June 2021 16:21
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Kazakhstan-U.S. Business Forum debate energy and mining industry development

WASHINGTON. KAZINFORM The US Acting Deputy Secretary of Commerce, Diane Farrell, and the Minister of Justice of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Marat Beketayev, opened the second day of the Forum with their welcome remarks.

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As Diane Farrell noted, Kazakhstan is an important trade partner of the United States, and the fact that the U.S. companies are the biggest source of FDI in Kazakhstan during all 30 years is an indication of trust. In turn, Marat Beketayev informed the Forum participants about fundamental reforms in the judicial and legal systems, the rule of law and other improvements in the regulatory environment to attract foreign investment to Kazakhstan, the Kazakh MFA’s press service reports.

The program of the second day included two sectoral sessions devoted to the development of energy and mining industry in light of clean energy sources and rare earth metals development.

Minister of Ecology, Geology and Natural Resources of the Republic of Kazakhstan Magzum Mirzagaliyev spoke about measures on the environmental protection and rare earth metals development potential.

The speakers at the session were Deputy Assistant Secretary of Energy Andrea Lockwood, Chairman of the Board of Tau-Ken Samruk Oil and Gas Company JSC Kairat Kudaibergen, CEO of Macro Advisory, LTD. Chris Weafer, Chief Director of the Renewable Energy Association of Kazakhstan Ruslan Zhemkov and Chairman of the Board of NuScale Power John Hopkins.

During the discussion the participants shared their views on the prospects for the development of alternative energy sources on the background of the oil market attractiveness decline, on measures to attract high-quality investments in the industry and other technological solutions, including the sphere of rare earth metals.

«Digital Transformation» session has been launched with a welcoming speech by the Vice-Minister of Digital Development, Innovation and Aerospace Industry of the Republic of Kazakhstan Askar Zhambakin, who told about the concept of the information and communication technologies and digital sphere development, in particular on the DigitEL National Project.

Further discussion was continued by Ivan Bulaev, Amazon Web Services Russia and the CIS General Manager, Mikheil Lomtadze, CEO and co-founder of Kaspi.kz, Mark David Hughes, Kazpost JSC Deputy Chairman of the Board, and Rafal Trepka, Country Manager for Central Asia at Mastercard.

The discussion of the Amazon Web Services project in Kazakhstan, aimed at the digital transformation of the country, investments in startups and cooperation with local service providers, as well as the successful business strategy of Kaspi.kz in the development of digital services in Kazakhstan generated a particular interest.

The outcomes of the two-day long work of the Forum were summed up at the official closing ceremony with the participation of Ambassadors of Kazakhstan and the United States Yerzhan Ashikbayev and William Moser.

Ambassador of Kazakhstan to the United States Yerzhan Ashikbayev expressed his gratitude to the President and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce Suzanne Clark, Chevron’s Chairman of the Board and CEO Michael Wirth, Senior Vice President of the US Chamber of Commerce Khush Choksy and his team for the outstanding work accomplished in organizing the Business Forum.

Kazakhstani diplomat highly appreciated the level of bilateral relations between Kazakhstan and the United States attained over 30 years of diplomatic relations between them, while emphasizing the versatility of issues on the bilateral agenda. As Yerzhan Ashikbayev noted, the two countries still have a vast potential for economic interaction to be unleashed, and Kazakhstan is firmly committed to continue a robust dialogue with American partners in promoting trade policy, combating climate emergency, empowering women and ensuring regional food security.

In turn, U.S. Ambassador William Moser acknowledged that Kazakhstan is a steadfast partner of the United States in Central Asia across many strategic areas. According to William Moser, government measures to improve the business climate bring new opportunities for growth in agriculture, information technology, logistics and tourism.

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