Cooperation between Kazakhstan and South Korea
The trade between Kazakhstan and South Korea grew 150 times over the last 25 years. In 2017, the bilateral trade between the countries was recorded at 1.7 billion US Dollars. Kazakhstan is the first Central Asian country that established diplomatic relations with South Korea. The trade relations between the countries became stronger since 2009. Today the countries plan to cooperate in information and communication technologies, digital transformation and Industry 4.0 areas.
KAIRAT ABDRAKHMANOV, KAZAKH FOREIGN MINISTER:
- Kazakh government placed great importance to the comprehensive development of cooperation with South Korea. This country is one of the major strategic partners in East Asia. President Nursultan Nazarbayev’s visit to Seoul in 2016 opened new cooperation prospects.
KANG KYUNG-WHA, SOUTH KOREAN FOREIGN MINISTER:
- We agreed that the existing areas of cooperation in the energy and natural resources sectors should be further strengthened.We very much welcome the president’s focus on the fourth industrial age challenges and very much want to work with Kazakhstan. Towards co-prosperity for the benefit of our two countries and peoples.
South Korean businesses invested ten billion US Dollars to date into Kazakhstan’s economy. The Governments of the two countries planned to boost the investments as Kazakhstan held the Kazakhstan Investment Week in Seoul recently.
The Kazakh delegation met with representatives of South Korean ‘East Coast’ Free Economic Zone. They plan to cooperate and share experiences with each other by sending two South Korean experts to Kazakhstan to provide consulting services.
SUNG WOON KHAN, VICE CHAIRMAN, ENERGY DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION, SOUTH KOREA:
- Representatives of some Korean companies operating in Kazakhstan told us about the challenges related to staff, taxes and customs procedures in Kazakhstan. But currently, Kazakhstan has undergone substantial changes due to the introduction of best international practices.
At the meeting, the Kazakh delegation presented the benefits for foreign investors and noted that to protect the investors’ interest, a national company ‘Kazakh Invest’ was established with investment ombudsman in Kazakhstan.
ARYSTAN KABIKENOV, KAZAKH VICE MINISTER OF INVESTMENTS AND DEVELOPMENT:
- We have met with the representatives of all foreign embassies and investors operating in Kazakhstan to explain to them that they need to address the investments ombudsman if they have any issues, because we don’t just address these issues to the government bodies, we have the authority to solve them.
There are currently about 500 joint enterprises with South Korean capital involvement in Kazakhstan. Both countries plan to strengthen mutually beneficial cooperation in the areas of infrastructure and logistics. Korean companies are involved in the construction of the Big Almaty Ring Road as well.