Cooperation between the UAE and Kazakhstan is growing in real estate, energy and financial services, a study recently commissioned by Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry shows.
Details of the study, compiled by the Economist Intelligence Unit, are released prior to a regional trade mission to Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, organised by Dubai Chamber, which is set to embark on June 2nd.
According to the study, Kazakhstan’s GDP is expected to grow by an average of 5.8% to 2017 with investment in infrastructure, the coming on stream of the Kashagan oil field and continued high oil prices.
Higher wages, relatively low inflation and more employment opportunities, as well as easier access to domestic credit, will support faster domestic demand growth, the report states.
Meanwhile, Kazakhstan’s trade surplus is set to remain strong, but products will remain low-value added with exports to the West consisting primarily of oil and metals. UAE imports from the country increased significantly in 2011, led by precious metals and stones.
Strong foreign direct investments into Kazakhstan are set to continue with domestic demand continuing to rise creating market opportunities in retail and telecoms sectors, according to the report.
H.E. Hamad Buamim, Director General, Dubai Chamber, said, “Our regional trade mission to Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan comes at a strategic time as we seek to strengthen our relationships with the CIS region. Both Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan have strong potential for investment in the right sectors and we are aiming to enhance cooperation with governments and private sectors.”
“In terms of specific opportunities for Dubai businesses in Kazakhstan, we will be exploring trade and logistics, agribusiness, construction and financial services, among others, during our trade mission,” he said.
“For instance, Kazakhstan’s likely accession to the WTO will encourage greater transparency and should allow more foreign banks to enter the market. Dubai’s financial sector could use its expertise in Islamic finance to export this to Kazakhstan,” H.E. Buamim said.
“Likewise, the country’s retail sector is largely underdeveloped with large supermarkets accounting for only 10-15% of sales. The government hopes this will rise to 50% by next year. While at the same time, the country’s growing middle class is shopping in more formal, expensive outlets. These factors represent a major opportunity for Dubai retailers to expand into this high-growth market,” H.E. Buamim said.
During the trade mission in Kazakhstan, the Dubai Chamber delegation will hold separate meetings with the country’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Industry and New Technologies, and the Minister of Agriculture. The delegation will also make a site visit to Astana’s Special Economic Zone and participate in the Kazakhstan-UAE Business Forum, entitled ‘From Dubai to the CIS’.
Dubai Chamber is focused on enhancing ties with the CIS region following the successful launch of its branch office in Baku, Azerbaijan in November last year.