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Kazakhstan president invites Saudi investors as both countries eye greater economic ties

RIYADH: Kazakhstan President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev has invited Saudi companies to invest in the central Asian country as it offers a lot of opportunities in the areas of energy, space, recycling, food and agriculture, and construction. 

While speaking at the Saudi-Kazakhstan Investment Meeting in Jeddah on July 24, Tokayev urged mutual cooperation between the countries to promote investments. He also invited companies like Saudi Basic Industries Corp. to implement joint projects in Kazakhstan. 

Tokayev added that Kazakhstan could be the best choice for Saudi Arabia to explore uranium, as the Kingdom has concrete plans to develop nuclear power plants. 

“We are very much interested in the technological expertise of Saudi Arabia in green hydrogen production. Given the impressive results of Saudi companies in green energy, I would encourage you to explore similar opportunities in Kazakhstan,” he said. 

The president further added that Saudi Arabia has supported Kazakhstan by implementing several projects in education, healthcare, culture, and infrastructure, worth more than $120 million in the country. 

Talking about the potential in space exploration, he said, “We also see cooperation in space exploration as a promising area. We are pleased to see the Kingdom’s desire to drive the space program as part of Saudi vision 2030. The two countries have a relevant legal framework for cooperation on research and peaceful use of outer space.” 

Kazakhstan is a vibrant economy, says Khalid Al-Falih 

While speaking at the same event, the Saudi Arabian Minister of Investment, Khaled Al-Falih called Kazakhstan a “vibrant economy.” 

“Some of you may know Saudi Arabia was one of the first nations which recognized the independence of Kazakhstan in 1991. And in three decades, Kazakhstan has become one of the most vibrant economies,” said Al-Falih. 

He added, “I want to emphasize that the trade between Kazakhstan and Saudi Arabia has increased significantly, especially the last few years, although there’s a lot of room to grow further.” 

Almassadam Satkaliyev, the CEO of Samruk-Kazyna JSC, said that the mission of Kazakhstan’s sovereign wealth fund is to ensure sustainable development of the economy and the creation of a diversified portfolio of assets and business support in the interest of the people of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

Satkaliyev hailed Saudi Arabia’s strategy to achieve carbon neutrality which will bring large-scale structural changes to the economy. He added that traditional energy sources will continue to play a crucial role in the energy system. 

He further noted that initiatives taken by Saudi Arabia to develop renewable sources of energy are impressive. 

The CEO revealed that Kazakhstan is planning to diversify its energy baskets. 

“We plan to diversify our energy basket by developing renewable energy sources and new regeneration hydrogen power. For energy efficiency and reliability, we will introduce energy storage systems and smart grids,” he said. 

Deals signed

The investment forum also saw several agreements and memorandum of understanding signed, with the Ministry of Culture and Sports of Kazakhstan and the Ministry of Sports of Saudi Arabia striking a memorandum. 

A number of agreements were signed between the countries during the event. (Arab News: Ghazi Mahdi)

Another memorandum was signed between the Ministry of Information and Social Development of Kazakhstan and the Ministry of Media of Saudi Arabia on media cooperation. 

The Saudi Press Agency also signed a memorandum with the TV and Radio Complex of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

The Ministry of Energy of Kazakhstan also entered into a deal with Saudi’s ACWA Power to work together in areas like renewable energy, desalination, energy storage, and green hydrogen. 

During the forum, a cooperation agreement was signed between Kazakhstan sovereign wealth fund Samruk-Kazyna JSC and Ajlan and Bros Holding Co. 

Ajlan and Bros Holding Co. also signed multiple memorandums for red meat exporting and for the construction of a sorghum syrup production plant in Kazakhstan. 

Al Rajhi International for Investment signed a deal with Kazakh Invest National Co. on investment cooperation.

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