NUR-SULTAN – Kazakhstan and South Korea signed 34 agreements, including 21 commercial documents and 13 non-commercial ones, worth US$1.7 billion during the Kazakh-Korean business roundtable in Seoul, reports the Akorda press service. The meeting was part of President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev’s two-day visit to South Korea.
The agreements were reached on joint implementation of investment projects for transfer of Korean technologies based on high efficiency and environmental friendliness of production.
South Korea has invested more than US$6 billion over the past 15 years, said President Tokayev addressing the business meeting.
“More than 550 enterprises with Korean capital are successfully operating in Kazakhstan, including leading companies such as Samsung, Hyundai, Lotte, Posco, Korea National Oil Corporation. With their participation, 24 major projects worth more than US$2.5 billion have already been implemented,” said Tokayev addressing representatives of Kazakh and Korean companies attending the meeting.
A landmark project, he said, is the construction of the Big Almaty Ring Road, known as BAKAD with the participation of Korean company SK Engineering & Construction.
Sixteen investment projects worth over $1.5 billion will be implemented in the automotive industry, housing construction, metallurgy and agriculture.
Kazakhstan is also interested in developing innovations and new technologies.
“High-tech industries in the manufacturing industry, as well as Industry 4.0 technologies are of strategic interest to us. South Korea is a recognized world leader in the digitization of the economy and a pioneer in 5G networks,” said Tokayev, noting an untapped potential in these areas.
He invited the Korean business community to explore investment opportunities in subsoil use. Only a quarter of the country’s territory, abundant in natural resources, has been geologically explored.
During his talks with the South Korean President Moon Jae-in, Tokayev proposed joint research of natural resources on the territory of Kazakhstan, where priority rights could be given to Korean companies.
Significant opportunities remain untapped in mechanical engineering and renewable energy.
In addition to its own 19 million market, Kazakhstan can be a door to enter the Eurasian Economic Union market of nearly 180 million people, said Tokayev during his meeting with top management of Korean companies.
“Kazakhstan is the most economically developed country in Central Asia – a market for nearly 75 million people. The modern legal, tax and financial system, coupled with Central Asia’s duty-free trade regime, make Kazakhstan an ideal springboard to work across the region,” he said.
He briefed the meeting participants about investment opportunities and conditions, including the recently launched strategic investment agreement tool that provides for individual support measures, legislative stability and special conditions for strategic investors.
Tokayev said he is “full of optimism” regarding the prospects of cooperation.
“Our country is at the stage of digital and technological transformation of the economy. We are ready to work in all areas of investment and technological cooperation. We have the financial and material resources, developed infrastructure, and most importantly, the political will of the leadership and good relations between our countries,” said the President.