U.S. Commerce Secretary, business delegation tour Kazakhstan

President Nazarbayev said Ross’s visit indicates interest by the United States in developing cooperation with Central Asia.
U.S. Commerce Secretary, business delegation tour Kazakhstan
31 October 09:49 2018 Print This Article

Ross visited Kazakhstan for three days as part of a Central Asian tour and also met with Kazakh Prime Minister Bakytzhan Sagintayev, government ministers and officials overseeing economy, trade and investments. He also participated in business forums in Astana and Almaty, where 16 American companies and Kazakh businesses were expected to sign commercial deals.

“During our meeting with President Donald Trump [during the visit to the U.S. in January 2018], we have reached an understanding. As it reads in our statement, Kazakh-American relations reached the level of an expanded strategic partnership. I met with a large group of U.S. business captains; with the trade volume at $2 billion, we signed 27 different commercial documents totalling $7 billion, and today trade grew by another 30 percent,” Nazarbayev noted.

Kazakh-American relations are rooted in Kazakhstan’s decision to abandon its nuclear weapons and close the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site, followed by the signing of the first cooperation agreement with then President George W. Bush. At that time, Chevron was among the pioneers of investing in Kazakhstan, whose history, as the Kazakh President stated, “shows how one can successfully conduct business in Kazakhstan.”

Ross, accompanied by 16 major U.S. businesses, noted Kazakhstan’s economic growth and active construction industry, conveyed greetings from Trump and thanked Nazarbayev for the opportunity to discuss Kazakh-American cooperation.

Bilateral trade turnover in the first eight months of 2018 reached $1.462 billion,  29 percent higher than the same period of 2017 ($1.133 billion), the Prime Minister’s Office reported.

The same source quotes the National Bank of Kazakhstan which reported the United States-to-Kazakhstan direct investment in the first six months of 2018 reaching $2.79 billion, 44.7 percent higher than the same period in 2017 ($1.93 billion). Overall, from 2005 to July 2018, the gross volume of American foreign direct investment to Kazakh economy amounted to $33.76 billion.

In the past six months, more than 60 U.S. companies visited for business talks and meetings and more than 700 American companies are already working in Kazakhstan.

On Ross’s second day in Kazakhstan, the U.S. delegation including Valmont, MasterCard, Honeywell and Sierra Nevada Corporation, participated in a business forum with more than 100 companies from both countries, hosted by the American-Kazakhstan Business Association.

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