Kazakhstan

Polish-Kazakh Business Forum

An interview with Mr. Meirzhan Yussupov, Chairman of the Board of the “National Company” KAZAKH INVEST” JSC - Member of the Board of Directors of the Company

Instytut Boyma 01.11.2021

Warsaw, October 6, 2021

Polish-Kazakh Business Forum

An interview with Mr. Meirzhan Yussupov, Chairman of the Board of the “National Company” KAZAKH INVEST” JSC – Member of the Board of Directors of the Company by Magdalena Sobańska-Cwalina, Ph.D., Boym Institute, Member of the Board, Warsaw, Poland

MSC: Let’s make a quick start. Why Polish entrepreneurs should invest in Kazakhstan?

M.Y.: There are many good reasons. Firstly, the market access. Kazakhstan is the part of the Eurasian Economic Union, so you can consider a 180 million consumer market. Secondly, perfect geographical location. The shortest land connection between Western Europe and China passes through Kazakhstan. We have China on the other side of the border. From Almaty – the former capital of Kazakhstan – there is two to three hours of driveway to the Chinese border. Thirdly, if you conduct a capital investment to Kazakhstan, we have attractive government incentives, such us various tax breaks, subsidies, and plug-and-play infrastructure provided by the government. Fourthly, our population is growing in demographic terms. In terms of UN Human Development Index, we occupy a much higher place compared to our neighbors. We have well educated population which provide quality services at affordable price. Moreover, our country is rich in natural resources and raw materials. Last but not least is political stability. If you take a look at around Kazakhstan, our country is a safe haven for investors.

Magdalena Sobańska-Cwalina (M.S-C): How Poland as a country and Polish products are perceived in your country?

M.Y.: As you can see from the outstanding turnout at the Polish-Kazakh business forum, Polish business is popular in Kazakhstan. And vice versa. Polish goods are regarded very well in Kazakhstan. For example, although we consider Kazakhstan a birthplace of apples, Polish fruits are still exported to Kazakhstan. This shows how well advanced the Polish technology is in terms of agricultural sector. We know also Polcotton very well, an investor to greenhouses in Central Asia. We have also other Polish projects in Kazakhstan like Polpharma which is the pharmaceutical company with a well-established production in our country.

M. S-C.: If a Polish company would like to start a business in Kazakhstan what do they need to know first?

M.Y.: The Kazakh government is putting a lot of efforts to enhance the business climate. We are #25 overall and #22 in terms of easiness of starting a business according to the World Bank’s Doing Business Report. I would advise anyone who is planning to start a business in Kazakhstan to contact KAZAKH INVEST so that we can advise. We also give a hand in finding a local partner in Kazakhstan.

For potential investors we provide comprehensive country information, plus sectoral reviews, and what is important specific investment projects prepared by our team together with international consultants.

Then we organize targeted visits to Kazakhstan. We set up meeting with central government bodies and local authorities. We have representatives in all regions. Important service is business matchmaking, we assist in searching for a strong local partner.

Then we assist in structuring of investment projects providing various options for financing. We guide investors all the way through the project implementation stage. And even after a successful launch, we provide continuous service support on the questions investors may have in doing business in Kazakhstan.

M. S-C.: What are the common mistakes foreign companies make in Kazakhstan?

Many of those mistakes are related to the market. Firstly, all businessmen conduct analysis prior making investments. Sometimes there is a market mismatch: there is not enough market for their products. Secondly, you should carefully think about logistics and local raw materials availability. Therefore, knowledge of the market is essential. If investors come to the KAZAKH INVEST, we help them with market research. It would be also wise to invest in hiring various specialized companies that do real kind of in-depth analysis of that market for their specific products

M.S-C.: What are priority sectors in which you would like to see Polish investors?

M.Y.: There is a large list of priority sectors, including agribusiness, mining, metallurgy, petrochemical industry, infrastructure, renewable energy and others. But personally, I would like to highlight agribusiness given the potential of Kazakhstan. Kazakhstan is among Top 5 countries globally in terms of potential for growth of agriculture sector. The government is putting a lot of emphasis to attract even more investments in agriculture and food processing. More concretely, feed mills for growing the cattle or greenhouse projects are on top the list. The pandemics demonstrates that food security is essential. We see a lot of interest in investing in Kazakhstan, for consumption domestically and for exports to other markets, e.g. China.

MSC: Both Poland and Kazakhstan have problems with the inefficient water use. Isn’t it a platform for future cooperation?

M.Y.: We are very concerned about the amount of water consumed by irrigation systems in Kazakhstan. The government devotes a lot of attention on how to save water using the modern irrigation technologies. Therefore, we are interested in cooperation with Polish companies on this matter.

M.S-C: Aren’t you afraid of the competition from your southern neighbor, Uzbekistan? The reforms started there may make it more attractive for foreign investors than it was before.

M.Y.: Competition is always good. For so many years we have been the leader in terms of foreign direct investment, in absolute numbers. If someone is doing better than before and wants to compete that gives additional impetus for us to become even better. Many entrepreneurs are investing to the southern part of Kazakhstan, which provides direct access to the entire growing market of Central Asia.

M.S-C: What are the main results of today’s business forum?

M.Y.: We have signed seven documents between Poland and Kazakhstan. It is by far the largest business event during the last four years. There is a very high interest from the Polish business community in terms of investing in Kazakhstan, as well as a strong Kazakh demand for meeting Polish business. We have a lot of positive feedback; I am sure we laid strong foundations for future partnerships.

 

On October 5, 2021, the Polish-Kazakh Business Forum was held in Warsaw, during which 7 bilateral documents were signed on the implementation of projects in Kazakhstan worth about $ 445 million.

 

 

 

 

 

Magdalena Sobańska-Cwalina

PhD in economics (the subject of the doctoral thesis: "Institutional Conditions for the Activity of Polish Enterprises of the Building Materials Industry on the Eastern Markets"). Graduate of PhD studies at the Collegium of World Economy of the Warsaw School of Economics and master's studies at the Warsaw School of Economics in the fields of Spatial Management and International Relations (specialization: Economy of Central and Eastern Europe). Author and co-author of scientific publications on international economic relations in the region of the former USSR.

czytaj więcej

Are Polish Universities Really Victims of a Chinese Influence Campaign?

The Chinese Influence Campaign can allegedly play a dangerous role at certain Central European universities, as stated in the article ‘Countering China’s Influence Campaigns at European Universities’, (...) However, the text does ignore Poland, the country with the largest number of universities and students in the region. And we argue, the situation is much more complex.

The phenomenon of ”haigui”

After the darkness of the Cultural Revolution, the times of the Chinese transformation had come. In 1978, Deng Xiaoping realised the need to educate a new generation of leaders: people proficient in science, management and politics. Generous programmes were created that aimed at attracting back to China fresh graduates of foreign universities, young experts, entrepreneurs and professionals.

Why We Need Women in Politics, or the Scandal Solved Successfully in Uzbekistan with a Polish Woman in the Leading Role

Polish women do not often become the heroines of media reports in Central Asia. In February 2020, however, it was different. The story of Agnieszka Pikulicka-Wilczewska, a journalist, "heated up" the headlines of local news portals. More importantly, "between the lines" she talked a lot about contemporary Uzbekistan and the role of women in politics.

Interview: Why Does Poland Need ‘17+1’?

Interview with Michał Wójcik - Director of the Department of International Cooperation of the Ministry of Marine Economy and Inland Navigation (DWM MGMiŻŚ). In the Ministry, he is leading the  Coordinating Secretariat for Maritime Issues , monitoring the cooperation of Central and Eastern European States with China.

Coronavirus and climate policies: long-term consequences of short-term initiatives

As large parts of the world are gradually becoming habituated to living in the shadow of the coronavirus pandemic, global attention has turned to restarting the economy. One of the most consequential impacts of these efforts will be that on our climate policies and environmental conditions.

From ‘strategic engagement’ to ‘competition’. Interview with William Yu

Ewelina Horoszkiewicz in conversation with Professor William Yu (UCLA) on USA, China and Europe. Professor William Yu  is an economist with the UCLA Anderson Forecast and specializes in the economies of Los Angeles and China.

Book review: “North Korea’s Cities”

Book review of "North Korea’s Cities", written by Rainer Dormels and published byJimoondang Publishing Company in 2014.

Meeting with Dr. Uki Maroshek-Klarman

It’s a great pleasure for the Boym Institute to organize an open meeting with dr Uki Maroshek who founded the betzavta method. Betzavta is taught across the globe at the Adam Institute for Democracy and Peace in Jerusalem as well as in other institutions in Europe and the Middle East.

Indian dream – interview with Samir Saran

Krzysztof Zalewski: India is a large country, both in terms of its population and its land area, with a fast-growing economy. It is perceived as a major new player on the global stage. What would the world order look like if co-organized by India? Samir Saran: India’s impact on the world order is already significant, but […]

Book review: “Europe – North Korea. Between Humanitarianism And Business?”

Book review of "Europe – North Korea. Between Humanitarianism And Business?", written by Myung-Kyu Park, Bernhard Seliger, Sung-Jo Park (Eds.) and published by Lit Verlag in 2010.

Book review: “Korean Diaspora in Postwar Japan – Geopolitics, Identity and Nation-Building”

Book review of "Korean Diaspora in Postwar Japan -  Geopolitics, Identity and Nation-Building", written by Kim Myung-ja and published by I.B Tauris in 2017.

Paweł Behrendt for 9DASHLINE: The South China Sea – from colonialism to the Cold War

We would like to inform, that 9DASHLINE has published article of Paweł Behrendt - the Boym Institute Analyst, in which he wrote about history of the South China Sea dispute over the 20th century.

Global Security Initiative and Global Development Initiative: Two Wings for Building a Community with a Shared Future for Mankind

Peace and development as the call of our day again face severe challenges on a global scale, with more prominent instability, uncertainty and complexity

Central Asia. The winding road to regional integration

The aim of the paper is to present the current stage of integration among the Central Asian republics and to analyze directions and dynamics of this process in the nearest future. This study also attempts to identify factors which can either slow down or strengthen the process of integration as well as its causes and consequences.

Why is stronger foreign investment protection needed in relations with China?

One of the key elements of the protection of foreign investment (and thus the foreign investor) is the mechanism for resolving disputes between the state and the foreign investor. The mechanism itself may take different forms...

The unification of the two Koreas: an ASEAN perspective

The aim of the paper is to discuss the role of the ASEAN as a critical component of the solution to the Korean unification. The Korean Unification refers to the potential reunification of both Koreas into a single sovereign Korean state led by the leadership of the two Koreas.

To free oneself from the Chinese embrace. On Indo-Russian relations with Nandan Unnikrishnan

Interview with Nandan Unnikrishnan, who has served for many years as a correspondent for Indian media in Russia. Currently he is a research fellow at the Observer Research Foundation in Delhi. The interview was conducted during the Raisina Dialogue 2019 in Delhi.

Interview with Uki Maroshek-Klarman on “Betzavta” method

Interview with Uki Maroshek-Klarman - Academic Director of the Adam Institute for Democracy and Peace in Israel. Founder of "Betzavta" method, which was created with intention of streghtening people's participation in society and making conflicts easier to solve.

China’s Social Credit System – How will it affect Polish enterprises in China?

The Social Credit System currently being rolled out in China may pose significant organisational and legal challenges for both foreign and Polish entities operating in China. We invite you to read our report, prepared in cooperation between the Boym Institute and Kochanski & Partners.

Women’s liberation in China: interview with prof. Wu Lijuan

Interview of Ewelina Horoszkiewicz with prof. Wu Lijuan - Associate Professor at the Department of Sociology at Peking University. Her research concentrates on the gender issues and social changes brought about by globalization. She wrote a book “Job Placements and Job Shifts in China: The Effects of Education, Family Background and Gender”.

Ailuna Shamurzaeva – Research Fellow at the Boym Institute

Her research focuses on political economy, migration studies, and international trade. Ailuna, we are more than happy to welcome you to the team!

The North Korean nuclear dismantlement and the management of its nuclear wastes

Evidence suggests that North Korea stores its high-level nuclear waste (HLW) in liquid form in tanks on the same site where it is made, and has not invested in infrastructure to reduce, dentrify, or vitrify this waste. However, this is just the tip of the iceberg, one of many aspects of the North Korean nuclear waste problem.

Internet, cryptocurrencies & blockchains in North Korea

North Korea is considered as a secretive state, but, paradoxically, the country is developing last trend technologies. With prohibitions restricting the flow of money, the country is turning to bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to finance their programs, instead of coming under new pressure.

Adam Institute for Democracy & Peace – Crowdfunding Campaign December 2020

Democracy in Israel is in crisis. And if we don't educate for democracy, it just won't exist. It's that simple. The actual teaching of democracy, on the other hand, isn't so simple. It requires experience, theoretical and practical knowledge and the flexibility to adapt to our ever-changing reality.