Kazakh Ambassador to Korea Nurgali Arystanov and South Chungcheong Province Gov. Kim Tae-heum showcased their expanding business and investment potential at the fourth edition of the Global Biz Forum hosted by The Korea Herald on Wednesday.
Arystanov's presentation centered on Kazakhstan's active "multivector" foreign policy, its rising status as an investment destination and the significance of South Korea in the C5+Korea initiative launched in 2007.
He highlighted South Korea's pivotal role as Kazakhstan's fourth-largest trade partner, trailing only China, Italy and Russia, with bilateral trade reaching $6.5 billion in 2022.
"Kazakhstan is open for business," emphasized Arystanov, underscoring the array of products Kazakhstan imports from South Korea, including cars, auto parts, cosmetics, food products, smartphones and household appliances.
He cited 53 Kazakh-South Korean investment projects worth a combined $5.4 billion, complemented by 740 joint ventures supported by Korean capital, as an example. He encouraged CEOs attending the forum to leverage Kazakhstan's enticing business environment, where the government offers no customs duty on imports of technological equipment, components and spare parts, along with zero percent value-added tax on raw materials and supplies. Kazakhstan is experiencing a burgeoning presence of e-commerce and online stores, with contributions from companies like Kaspi Bank, Freedom Finance and the Korean success story, Coupang.
Gov. Kim presented the province's initiatives in promoting smart farming and fostering conditions for youth employment in the agricultural sector.
He emphasized the need to move companies' headquarters with production units in provincial regions to the same regions to diversify opportunities, address Seoul-centered culture and engage with local talent.
Arystanov and Kim also discussed ways to activate cooperation between Kazakhstan and South Chungcheong Province in the investment sector.
The event served as a platform to illuminate the vibrant prospects Kazakhstan and South Chungcheong Province hold for potential investors and partners.