NUR-SULTAN – A business delegation of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council visited Shymkent, Kazakhstan’s third largest city, Sept. 18-19 to set up partnerships and expand bilateral ties.
The companies are leading producers of electronic goods, household appliances, interior design, cosmetics, health products, food and chemical goods. Hong Kong is ranked among the top three global financial hubs behind New York and London.
The visit included business-to-business meetings where the sides discussed opportunities for cooperation and sought ways to enter the leading market in Asia.
The delegation also visited industrial facilities and special economic and industrial zones where they witnessed industrial processes and technologies. Some technologies, they noted, can compete with those in China.
The environmentally friendly nature of agriculture and food products produced in Shymkent is a competitive advantage. The businesspeople expressed their willingness to buy the products.
“Cooperation with your region is very important for us and we hope for long-term relations,” said Hong Kong Chamber of Economic and Trade Promotional Association Head Wilson Lam.
Shymkent, he noted, is a trade hub presenting significant opportunities.
“It is a competitive border region that stands at the crossroads of the Silk Road that is on the Western Europe – Western China transcontinental road route. There are many resources and areas where to make investments,” he said.
The main goal is to deepen bilateral ties between Kazakhstan and China.
“We would like to take part in the development of the Kazakh industry and invest in it,” said Lam.
During the visit, the Hong Kong Association and Shymkent Business Chamber signed a memorandum.
Shymkent Business Chamber Head Nurlan Kabishtayev said any economic relations start with trade operations.
“Therefore, at the first stage we are talking only about trade. We need this cooperation more because we are interested in supplying our products to the world’s largest market with very high purchasing capacity. We have strong businesses who might be interesting for Hong Kong businesses,” said Kabishtayev, referring to the larger China’s market which can be accessed from Hong Kong.
The city could offer light industry, agriculture and food industry products, he added.
“We are ready to learn from their experience, advanced technologies in the production of packaging material. Our cooperation will give us a clear understanding of what the Chinese market is about, because what we might consider of high quality could be perceived differently there and vice versa. Therefore, it is important for us to start trade cooperation now,” he said.
The same day, the business delegation attended a roundtable in Almaty that gathered representatives of the Almaty Business Chamber and the business community.
Lam noted such events link Hong Kong companies with the world.
“We are very pleased that 13 delegates from 10 Hong Kong companies are present here. They represent a wide range of sectors from electronics to metal, silicone and rubber products. They all have serious intentions in Kazakhstan and are interested in cooperation. Today, they are exploring a new potential, expanding their business ties and building partnerships,” said Lam.
Almaty Business Chamber Head Nariman Abilshaikov said there are more than 185,000 small- and medium-sized enterprises registered in Almaty that make up 40 percent of the gross regional product.
“The trade and service sector are leading economy sectors in Almaty. The chamber works to improve the business climate, attract new investors and develop the export potential of local producers,” he said.