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New S-GE Trade Point in Kazakhstan

S-GE has opened a Trade Point in the Kazakh capital of Astana. Its head, Pavel Ivanov, spoke to us about the opportunities for Swiss companies in Kazakhstan.

Pavel Ivanov, why a Trade Point in Kazakhstan?

The economic development of Kazakhstan since its independence in 1991 is a remarkable success story. Within two decades, Kazakhstan has become one of the most dynamic and leading economies of the post-Soviet republics.

In the regular country assessment by S-GE, Kazakhstan has been steadily gaining ground for the past several years. In addition, Swiss companies' demand for support with export projects in Kazakhstan has increased significantly in the last two years.

Why is it worthwhile for Swiss export companies to expand their business to Kazakhstan? Which sectors have good prospects?

Since 1992, the annual per capita income in Kazakhstan has increased by more than sevenfold to more than USD 13,000. This economic boom is based largely on the vast supply of raw materials, a relatively liberal economic environment, prudent economic policies and, not least, the increasing integration of Kazakhstan into the world economy.

Kazakhstan has implemented several economic reforms in the recent past. Political stability, membership in the Eurasian Economic Union and, since a few weeks ago, also in the WTO make the country attractive for Swiss companies. Ensure a high degree of legal and planning certainty. Kazakhstan is interested in foreign investment and is opening rapidly. At the moment, there is a comprehensive campaign to privatize 60 state-owned companies, which could also be of interest for Swiss investors and underlines the ambitions of Kazakhstan to continue to gradually develop its economy.

Kazakhstan is striving to reduce its dependence on raw materials and further diversify its economy. The dramatic fall in oil prices – oil is the country's main export –, the increasing competition with the countries of the Eurasian Economic Union and the WTO regulations – which will soon come into force – will further accelerate this desire for modernization and reform. A number of projects for new industrial companies have already been launched and many more are still in the planning stages. For this, Kazakhstan needs know-how and technology from Europe.

As a landlocked country, Kazakhstan is trying to make the best use of its central geographical location for the transit of the flow of goods between China and Europe and is thus consistently pushing the development of the necessary transport infrastructure forward.

The Kazakh government has been able to enforce the multi-vector policy launched with its independence in its bilateral and multilateral international relations and build pragmatic business and trade relations with its big neighbors Russia and China as well as with the US and Europe.

The most relevant sectors for Swiss companies are the lighting industry, MEM, infrastructure, food processing, medical technology, petrochemicals, as well as various activities in Astana around the upcoming EXPO, which will take place in summer 2017 in the Kazakh capital of Astana.

To what extent can the Trade Point provide Swiss export companies with assistance with projects in the target market of Kazakhstan?

The Trade Point provides Swiss companies with a well-developed network of contacts for private domestic firms as well as Swiss companies with premises in Kazakhstan. The integration of the Trade Points in the structure of the Swiss Embassy in Kazakhstan also facilitates contacts with official agencies and ministries. The Embassy's good network of contacts is not limited to the capital city of Astana and the economic capital of Almaty, but also extends into nearly every region of at the currently ninth largest country in the world. The Trade Point also maintains good connections with local consulting and law firms as well as with individual experts, which allows us to answer all questions about expansion into or in Kazakhstan and handle a wide variety of export mandates from every industry.

About Pavel Ivanov

Pavel Ivanov (born in 1976) graduated from the University of International Relations in 1997 and World Languages in Almaty, Kazakhstan. He began his career in early 1999 at the Consulate General of Switzerland in Almaty and, after it closed, he was active in of the new Swiss Embassy in Astana. During this period, Pavel Ivanov was entrusted with various tasks in the bilateral cooperation between Switzerland and Kazakhstan, mainly in the field of economy and trade. Thanks to his long career at the Swiss Embassy, Pavel Ivanov has an extensive network of contacts, and knows the Kazakh market and the economic context of the country inside and out.

Contact information

Embassy of Switzerland in Astana/ Kazakhstan

Kosmonavtov street 62, 8 floor, Microdistrict Chubary, 010000 Astana, Republic of Kazakhstan

Tel. : 007 7172 97 98 92/93 (Embassy), Fax : 007 7172 97 98 94 (Embassy), Ast.vertretung@eda.admin.ch, www.eda.admin.ch/astana

pavel.ivanov@eda.admin.ch, Mob.: 007 777 533 05 91, Tel.: +41 58 4844472 (UCC)

Kazakhstan Country Consultation (21st to 23rd March)

Kazakhstan Country Website

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