Chinese investor buys major Kazakh automaker

ASTANA – China National Machinery, a transnational Chinese state company, has bought 51 percent of shares of SaryarkaAvtoProm, a major Kazakh automaker. The joint venture plans to produce up to 100,000 vehicles per year and increase the localisation level up to 50 percent at the company’s plant in Kostanai region.

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First Deputy Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Askar Mamin highlighted that the joint automotive enterprise is a strategic project for Kazakhstan’s domestic car industry, and that it is intended to increase the pace of development and the export potential of Kazakh products. The project is an important component of the Belt and Road Initiative and a linchpin of Kazakh-Chinese cooperation in industrialisation and investment.

China National Machinery is a member of the China General Technology Group (Genertec). Genertec Chairman Lu Yimin said that the joint project will significantly deepen the localisation of production, expand the brand portfolio and introduce the latest technologies in Kazakhstan. Component suppliers will be selected from Kazakhstan and the Eurasian Economic Union.

The development of car assembly production in the northern city of Kostanai will create new jobs. The total investment in the project will be approximately $1.1 billion. From 2019 to 2021, it is planned that JAC, Ankai, Howo and Hanteng brand vehicles will be produced.

Mamin negotiated the investment agreement and attended its signing. Chinese Ambassador to Kazakhstan Zhang Xiao and Kazakh Minister for Investment and Development Zhenis Kassymbek also attended the signing ceremony.

SaryarkaAvtoProm has the only plant in Kazakhstan that fulfills the requirements of industrial assembly of vehicles, including welding, painting and body assembly operations. The product line includes JAC, Peugeot, Iveco, Ankai, Hyundai, Ravon and Chevrolet. Dealer centres operate in all regions of Kazakhstan.

China General Technology Group is a Chinese state-owned conglomerate covering engineering, pharmaceuticals, construction and real estate, as well as technical consulting. The annual turnover of the company is $31 billion, and its export investment portfolio is $180 billion. China National Machinery is a major international designer, contractor for project management services and service provider in the automotive industry.

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