Minister for European Affairs and Foreign Trade Alexander Stubb will make an export promotion trip to Kazakhstan from 2 to 5 October. The trip includes visits to Almaty, the economic centre of Kazakhstan, and to Astana, the capital. The minister will travel with a business delegation compiled by Finpro and comprising more than 70 corporate representatives.
The purpose of the visit is to strengthen the business opportunities for Finnish companies in Kazakhstan and to promote networking with the local authorities and companies. The companies in the delegation accompanying the minister represent a broad range of sectors, such as information and communications technology, mining, energy and energy efficiency, mechanical engineering, logistics, environment technology, health and welfare, education and service business.
The visit will be hosted by Minister of Environmental Protection Nurlan Kapparov, who is the chairman for Kazakhstan of the Kazakh-Finnish Intergovernmental Commission on Trade and Economic Cooperation. Stubb is also scheduled to meet with other key ministers and with the mayors of Almaty and Astana. In conjunction with the minister’s trip, Finnish-Kazakh business seminars will be organised in Almaty and Astana.
Also in connection with the trip, the seventh meeting of the Kazakh-Finnish Intergovernmental Commission on Trade and Economic Cooperation will take place in Astana on 5 October. The meeting will focus on trade and economic relations between Finland and Kazakhstan and on cooperation in the areas of education, health care, energy efficiency and innovation.
Kazakhstan is a leading Central Asian state both economically and politically. Economic growth in the country has been the world’s third fastest for the past ten years. Trade between Finland and Kazakhstan grew rapidly in 2000–2008; nearly each year the percentage increase was in double digits. The peak year was 2008, when the value of trade was 850 million euros. Last year, after the international economic crisis, trade between Finland and Kazakhstan returned to a growth path and was almost 500 million euros. Exports to Kazakhstan include equipment and machinery, for instance for the mining industry. Special building is done and Nokia is the most popular mobile phone brand in Kazakhstan. TeliaSonera owns Kcell, the largest telecommunications operator in Kazakhstan. In addition, Finland exports pharmaceutical products to Kazakhstan.
Kazakhstan’s economy is larger than the economies of the other Central Asian countries combined. At the same time, Kazakhstan is already wealthier than the poorest EU countries and thanks to its oil resources, the country is quickly becoming more prosperous. It is predicted that Kazakhstan’s GDP per person this year will rise to about 14,200 euros, and the annual economic growth rate in 2012–2016 is estimated to be 5 to 7 per cent.
Additional information: Antti Timonen, Press Attaché to the Minister for European Affairs and Foreign Trade, tel. +358 40 590 7231, and Desk Officer for Kazakhstan Tuomas Kinnunen, mobile tel. +358 50 564 1924
Businesses taking part in the trip:
ABB Oy, Ahma Engineers Ltd, Aker Arctic Technology Inc, Arctic Machine Oy, Biohit Plc, Business Oulu, Commit Oy, Comptel Corporation, EduCluster Finland Ltd, EKE-Electronics Ltd., Electro Waves Oy, Finnair Flight Academy Ltd, Finnish Tourist Board, Finnish Water Forum, Finnpartnership, Finnfund, Finn-Power Oy, Finnvera plc, the Federation of Universities of Applied Sciences (FUAS), Gemalto Oy, Geomachine Oy, Hidex Oy, Honkarakenne Oyj, HYKSin Oy, JAMK University of Applied Sciences, Kaukomarkkinat Oy, KONE Elevators Ltd, Konecranes Oyj, Kuopio Innovation Ltd, KWH Pipe Ltd, Labquality Oy, Lindström Group, Merivaara Corporation, Mipro Oy, Nokia Siemens Networks, Normet International Oy, Oilwhale Ltd, Outotec Oyj, Patria Oyj, Pemamek Ltd, PJ-Engineering Oy, Planmeca Group, Pribori Oy, ProWellness Oy, PXP Project Expeditors Group, Roadscanners Oy, Santen Oy, TeliaSonera Corporation, University of Eastern Finland, Vahanen International Oy, Vaisala Group, Wipak Oy, Wärtsilä Finland Oy, ÅF-Consult Ltd, Finpro