NUR-SULTAN – Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev and Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan discussed bilateral relations and economic cooperation between Kazakhstan and the United Arab Emirates during President Tokayev’s Jan. 27-28 first presidential visit to Abu Dhabi.
Both leaders acknowledged the positive state of relations and a desire to continue them.
“At present, bilateral relations between our countries are developing at a high level. The UAE gives particular importance to strengthening cooperation with Kazakhstan. The cooperation between our countries covers a wide range of directions,” Al Nahyan said, reported akorda.kz.
“The history of relations between the two countries has deep roots. We are connected by true friendship, mutual understanding and trust. Therefore, our relationship has great prospects. The main purpose of my visit is to give a new impetus to the cooperation of the two states. We have achieved great success, but we must not stand still, we must move forward. I attach particular importance to this visit and have high hopes for it,” Tokayev said.
The leaders discussed cooperation in the petrochemicals, agriculture, transport and logistics, financial and investment sectors.
“Our trade and economic relations and cultural and humanitarian cooperation are actively developing. Entrepreneurs of our countries also actively cooperate. To date, about 350 joint ventures have been created. For example, [there’s] the Abu Dhabi Plaza complex under construction in the city of Nur-Sultan,” said Tokayev.
The meeting ended with exchanges of signed documents. The Kazakh Ministry of Energy and UAE Ministry of Energy and Industry inked a memorandum of understanding and cooperation in the petrochemical industry. The Kazakh Ministry of Trade and the Emirati Ministry of Economy signed a memorandum of understanding. The Astana International Financial Centre’s (AIFC’s) Committee on financial regulation services and the Emirati Central Bank also signed memorandum of understanding.
Tokayev also stressed that both countries have an important historical frontier in 2021. Kazakhstan will celebrate the 30 years of its independence, while the Emirates will prepare festivities for its 50th anniversary.
Tokayev was also expected to meet during the trip with Emirati Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
On the first day of the visit, Tokayev also toured the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and met with the Emirati business community.
“We have an ambitious plan to implement joint investment projects worth $11 billion,” the President said at a meeting with the business community. “At present, we are negotiating with the investment company Mubadala on the implementation of a project worth $6.6 billion for the construction of a petrochemical complex for the production of polypropylene in Atyrau Region.”
“Our joint project can be a good example of the fact that Kazakhstan’s economy pays great attention to the processing industry and industrial development,” he added.
“The AIFC will become the venue for the IPO (initial public offering) of our largest state strategic assets, such as the national oil and gas company, railways, telecommunications companies, etc. We invite both corporations and welfare funds, such as the Abu-Dhabi Investment Authority and Mubadala, to participate in the privatisation programme,” Tokayev said.
According to him, investment proposals worth nearly $40 billion have been developed in the mining industry, metallurgy, petrochemicals, agriculture, logistics, tourism and other industries.
From January to November 2019, mutual trade turnover increased 10.3 percent year-on-year and totalled $500 million, the President said. The direct investments from the UAE to Kazakhstan reached $2.1 billion, while investments from Kazakhstan to the UAE reached $1 billion.
According to the President, the Arab business people should also find “great prospects” in agricultural cooperation, especially in producing halal products, meat and poultry and oilseed processing. The vast Kazakh land, technological and logistic capabilities can ensure delivery of organic and environmentally friendly agricultural products.
The UAE is also in the top five destinations for Kazakh tourists. Kazakhstan intends to mirror the effect and make Kazakhstan attractive for the Emirati citizens, Tokayev said.
“We consider tourism as one of the key industries to create jobs and diversifying the economy. On the other hand, for many years, the UAE has been a recognised leader and player in the global tourism market. Your companies have accumulated relevant knowledge, experience and resources. In this regard, we would like to invite you to jointly develop tourist destinations in Kazakhstan and help us bring them to the international level,” the President said.
President Tokayev also met with Abu Dhabi Global Market Chair and UAE State Minister Ahmed Ali Al Sayegh and discussed projects of cooperation between the Abu Dhabi special economic zone with the AIFC.
On the same day, Tokayev met with Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) Chair Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber. ADNOC is the leading oil and gas producer in the UAE.
“In Kazakhstan, the petrochemical industry is strengthening. In the future, we intend to cooperate with your company in this direction,” Tokayev told Al Jaber.