Kazakhstan calls on German companies to develop Caspian

Dec 04, 2003 01:00 AM

Kazakhstan is inviting German companies to participate more actively in the development of the hydrocarbon reserves of the Caspian, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev said during a meeting with German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder in Astana.
"Kazakhstan is ready to encourage broader participation by German companies in the development of fields in the Caspian, and given their high level of engineering development -- to invite them to improve the service sector in the domestic oil production industry," the presidential said.

The German chancellor arrived in Kazakhstan on his first official visit to the republic. He will be in Kazakhstan for two days. Nazarbayev informed Schroeder that at the moment the republic's economy is changing from being largely dependent on the raw material sector to the accelerated development of the non-raw material sector, particularly the manufacturing sector.
Astana considers that there is good potential to set up Kazakh-German joint ventures to develop infrastructure in engineering, petrochemicals, construction, transport and communications, automobile assembly, insurance, agricultural processing and production of agricultural technology. Also, significant possibilities for cooperation in the sphere of information and telecommunications technology were noted.

During the talks Nazarbayev said that Germany is one of Kazakhstan's main trading partners in Europe.
"We welcome and will support in every way growth in interest in Kazakhstan and investment activity by German business circles," the Kazakh president said. Trade between the two countries in January-September 2003 amounted to $ 691.6 mm, including $ 108.1 mm in Kazakh exports and $ 511.5 mm in imports.

As of July 1, 2003 German investment in the Kazakh economy amounted to $ 664 mm, including $ 198 mm in direct investment, $ 5 mm in portfolio investment and $ 461 mm in other investment.
Trade between the two countries in 2002 amounted to $ 806.5 mm, including $ 220.3 mm in Kazakh exports and $ 586.2 mm in imports. There are currently 145 representations and branches of German banks and companies working in Kazakhstan and the number of registered Kazakh-German joint ventures has reached 266.

Source: Interfax Information Services
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