It was noted that Kazakhstan provides trade and investment opportunities for the companies, which are striving to establish new directions in one of the most dynamically developing markets. Kazakhstan’s capital, Astana, rapidly developing both as an administrative and business centre, was chosen due the country’s possibilities as a modern and diversified economy with a profitable high-tech industry, Malaysian representatives said. The participation of Malaysian companies in the exhibition was aimed at further developing close business partnerships and establishing joint enterprises with local companies, as well as increasing awareness of Malaysian service suppliers.
Yerlan Khairov, chairman of the Investment Committee of the Ministry of Industry and New Technologies, noted in his welcoming speech the importance of cooperation between Malaysia and Kazakhstan. “I would like to ask our guests to consider our country not only the way to Kazakhstan, but also the way to the Customs Union, where the population is over 170 million people. I want to wish everyone fruitful work and success,” he said.
Dr. Wong Lai Sum, when she took the floor, noted the importance of cooperation between Kazakhstan and Malaysia.
“This is the twelfth exhibition organised by the Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE), but this is the first exhibition of this kind held in Kazakhstan,” she said. “It is an important fact that the ambassador of Malaysia to Kazakhstan and the ambassador of Kazakhstan to Malaysia are rendering assistance to the companies to promote cooperation between Kazakhstan and Malaysia.”
The ties of the two countries have become stronger because more areas of cooperation have appeared in both countries’ markets. Cooperation in the sphere of education is also an important indicator of better cooperation. “MSE Astana 2013 will showcase the expertise and capabilities of Malaysian services companies under seven clusters, namely construction and its related services, logistics and freight forwarding, information and communication technology (ICT), education, healthcare services, franchises [and] business services,” Dr. Wong concluded.
After the welcoming speeches, Chairman Khairov, Dr. Wong and the Ambassador of Malaysia to Kazakhstan Dato’Ahmad Rasidi Bin Hazizi cut the ribbon to open the exhibition. After this ceremony they visited the pavilions showcasing services and goods.
The Malaysian ambassador in an interview said, “Last year’s visit of President Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan to Malaysia promoted cooperation between the two countries. Of course, our cooperation with your companies is longstanding; however, we are not going to stop at the current level. Today we plan to hold 15 business meetings within the exhibition.”
A total of 31 companies with 54 representatives participated in the event. The Malaysian exhibitors in the construction cluster showcased architectural, engineering and construction services, manufacturers of park equipment, and interior and exterior lighting services. In addition to the exhibition, there were concurrent events including seminars and business meetings for the participants. More than 600 business meetings have been pre-arranged for participants.
The inaugural MSE was held in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, in 2008, where MATRADE presented 11 services sectors with a total of 168 participants. To date, MATRADE had successfully organised 11 MSE programmes.
MATRADE is Malaysia’s national trade promotion agency. Established in March 1993, MATRADE’s primary role is to assist Malaysian exporters in developing and expanding their export markets. Assisted by a network of 40 overseas offices located in major commercial cities around the world, MATRADE provides a wide range of assistance to both Malaysian exporters and foreign buyers of Malaysian products and services who are sourcing for trade-related information.