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Kazakhstan looks to boost ME investments

Abu Dhabi, January 16, 2011

Kazakhstan aims to strengthen partnerships and attract investments from the Middle East in key areas of its economy at the 7th World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF) to be held from June 7 to 9 in capital Astana.

Kazakhstan is the ninth largest country in the world with a GDP of $182 billion and population of 16 million. It is rich in minerals, in particular uranium, of which the country is the world’s leading exporter.

With the theme ‘Globalising Growth: Connect, Compete, Collaborate’, this year’s forum seeks to highlight the vast investment opportunities available in Kazakhstan and to forge stronger cross border partnerships between the Central Asian nation and the rest of the world, in particular, other Muslim nations.

With proven reserves, it also has the capacity to be the 10th largest oil and gas producing country in the world by 2015.

Aset Issekeshev, Kazakhstan Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Industry and New Technologies, said, 'The WIEF provides us with a platform to engage ME investors and rest of the world with our Strategic 2020 initiative to diversify our economy.'

'Kazakhstan also offers tremendous opportunities for investors seeking a gateway into the nascent economies of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). The proximity of Astana, our capital to the Middle East (only 4 hours by air to Dubai) is also a strong plus point for investors from the region,' he observed.

Topics of discussion will include prospects for the expansion of the Halal food industry, Islamic banking, the future of alternative energy, empowering SMEs and introduction of innovative technologies, the increasing role of SMEs and social entrepreneurship.

Tun Musa, chairman of WIEF Foundation, said the forum has extended its reach into the CIS region and will have huge implications on business dynamics in this part of the world.

'The WIEF has been an effective bridge for business wherever it has been held over the past 6 years in Southeast Asia, East Asia and the Middle East. It is most timely that the bridge has now come to Central Asia,' he added.

According to Musa, the WIEF Foundation will embark on a road show over the next three months to selected countries including the UAE, Singapore, Turkey, Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, Russia and Azerbaijan.-TradeArabia News Service

Tags: Kazakhstan | Middle East investors | World Islamic Economic Forum |

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