On June 22nd – 23rd, the Second Meeting of the “Kazakhstan ‒ Canada Business Council” (KCBC) took place in Astana, Kazakhstan, under the sign of two outstanding anniversary dates: the 150th birthday of Canada and 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Kazakhstan and Canada. The event was co-organized by the Canada Eurasia Russia Business Association (CERBA) and Kazakhstan’s Chamber for International Commerce (KazCIC) on the sidelines of the International Specialized Exhibition EXPO-2017 “Future Energy” , under the auspices of the two KCBC Co-Chairs – Timothy S. Gitzel of Cameco Corporation and Askar Zhumagaliev of NAC Kazatomprom.
More than 160 participants from business, government and non-profit sectors attended the event. The federal Government of Canada was represented by Mr. Fred Gorrell, Assistant Deputy Minister for Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, and the Government of Kazakhstan was represented by Mr. Yerlan Khairov, Vice-Minister for Investments and Development of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Both speakers highlighted the importance of the KCBC’s goal to develop relationships between Canadian and Kazakhstan’s businesses, so that the companies can find ways to strengthen co-operation and bilateral trade between the two countries.
The KCBC Meeting was also attended by Mr. Steven Bonk, member of the Legislative Assembly of Saskatchewan, who shared his positive experience about doing business with Kazakhstan in the area of livestock breeding and farm management.
Representatives from Kazakhstan’s Ministry of National Economy, the Astana International Financial Center Authority, the International Finance Corporation, Kazakhstan’s Foreign Investors’ Council Association, National Company “Kazakh Invest”, Centre for Strategic Initiatives and others shared their views on the prospects for Kazakhstan’s economic development, the integration of the country into the global economy, measures taken by the Government of Kazakhstan to improve the investment climate in the country, opportunities for Canadian partners to participate in the infrastructural programs, including creation of the International Financial Center in Astana on the platform of EXPO-2017 and other projects.
Along with the plenary session, the KCBC members participated in the six Working Groups and discussed a wide range of cooperation issues in the following areas: mining & natural resources; agriculture & agri-food; oil & gas; transportation & aerospace; construction & infrastructure; finance & banking.
At the pavilion “The World of Nuclear Energy” arranged within the framework of the “Astana EXPO-2017”, the KCBC Co-Chairs ‒ CEO of NAC Kazatomprom, Mr. Askar Zhumagaliyev and CEO of Cameco Corporation, Mr. Tim Gitzel signed a Memorandum on Digitalization of Production. The document determines the opportunities for cooperation in implementing in Kazatomprom the tasks outlined in the Address of the President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev “Third Modernization of Kazakhstan: Global Competitiveness” and within the framework of the state program “Digital Kazakhstan”. Both parties intend to cooperate in the area of automation, digitalization and robotics at joint ventures, in particular, to develop projects for BigData, IIoT, additive technologies, 3D modeling and cloud technologies.
The KCBC executive committee tentatively agreed to organize the next meeting of the Kazakhstan ‒ Canada Business Council in Canada in the spring of 2018.