KIA Starts Building New Full-Cycle Plant in Kazakhstan, Marks First Direct Investment Beyond South Korea

ASTANA – KIA initiated the construction of a new full-cycle plant in Kostanai, marking a historic move with its first direct investment in a joint venture outside South Korea, Kazakh First Deputy Prime Minister Roman Sklyar said at a Nov. 11 official launching ceremony, reported the Prime Minister’s press service.

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The plant is expected to create 1,500 high-paying jobs and have an annual production capacity of 70,000 cars. $250 million in foreign investment will be allocated to the project.

Construction is anticipated to be completed in 2024, followed by equipment installation. A pilot launch is scheduled for the first quarter of 2025, with full production commencing in the second quarter.

Sklyar stated that the project is a high-tech breakthrough for the mechanical engineering industry, with a real multiplier effect on training a new generation of engineering and technical personnel, accelerating the transition to the next stage of localization development.

President and CEO of KIA Motors Corporation Ho Sung Song expressed pride in contributing to Kazakhstan’s economic progress, expecting the new plant to provide a unique workspace for citizens, particularly university graduates and engineers.

Currently, KIA is working to open a localization center in Kostanai where auto components will be produced in collaboration with small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs).

Kostanai Region Akim (governor) Kumar Aksakalov said the launch of this modern high-tech enterprise using advanced world practices will significantly boost production volumes in the automotive industry.

“One job in mechanical engineering will lead to the creation of five to six jobs in related industries,” he said.

South Korean Ambassador to Kazakhstan Jo Tae-Ik highlighted that the ongoing economic cooperation between the countries aligns with President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev’s economic reform goals to diversify Kazakhstan’s industry through the development of the manufacturing sector.

In January, President Tokayev emphasized the importance of expanding industrial cooperation and forming an engineering base during the launch of small-scale KIA car production in Kostanai.

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