Kazakhstan Expands Non-Commodity Exports

ASTANA – The number of exported non-commodity goods from Kazakhstan increased by 278 positions in 2023, Minister of Trade and Integration Arman Shakkaliyev said at a May 21 government meeting chaired by Prime Minister Olzhas Bektenov, reported the Prime Minister’s press service.

Photo credit: Gulf Business

Since 2019, the number of permanent active exporters in Kazakhstan has grown by 300 companies. Export destinations have expanded from 129 to 135 countries over a year, with increased supplies of finished goods to Asian markets, including China (8%), South Korea (26%), and Vietnam (46%).

While exports of services rose by 29%, there was a decline in the export of industrial goods such as copper, ferroalloys, zinc, silver, and petroleum products. This decline is related to external factors including global price volatility, decreased demand, and heightened competition in target markets.

Meanwhile, the physical volumes of processed agricultural products have increased, with flour exports up by 1.1%, sunflower oil by over 55.5%, and beverages by 42.8%.

Kazakhstan aims to achieve $45 billion in exports by 2029, with a particular focus on China. According to Shakkaliyev, the goal is to increase the export of finished products by 2.5 times to reach $12.5 billion in the medium term.

In-depth work will continue to enhance trade with the Eurasian Economic Union and Central Asian countries, supported by the creation of necessary cross-border trade infrastructure. Priority markets include the Middle East for high-margin goods such as chilled lamb, poultry, and by-products, and the European Union for Kazakh food and organic products.

Kazakhstan is launching a trading accelerator based on QazTrade Trade Policy Development Center to facilitate long-term contracts with advance payments for guaranteed export volumes. An Export Credit Agency established this year offers business entities insurance and financial support throughout the export cycle.

The minister noted that financial measures will focus on higher-processed goods to reduce dependence on external factors. The QazTrade center will continue to provide annual service measures to over 450 companies. Over the past three years, exports of vegetable oils and fats increased by 2.2 times, fertilizers – 1.7 times, and lamb – 4.4 times.

To boost product recognition, a trade representative office of QazTrade was registered in Urumqi, and Qazaq Trade House began operations at the EXPO Dubai national pavilion. Kazakh companies will also participate in major exhibitions in Urumqi and Shanghai.

Shakkaliyev determined the service sector a key driver of export revenue, with exports totaling $10.3 billion last year. Kazakhstan’s service exports, including IT, oilfield, and medical services, can be delivered without crossing borders, he added.

Kazakhstan plans to continue expanding non-resource exports, focusing on agricultural products and higher-processed goods. These measures aim to increase the number of active exporters by 120 companies and boost non-commodity goods exports by 6% this year, the minister concluded.

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