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Business Summit in Astana Has Gathered Together Investors and Partners from Latvia and Kazakhstan 22.05.2014

On 20 May a meeting of entrepreneurs and officials of Kazakhstan and Latvia was held in Astana to discuss the prospects for cooperation in terms of business and finance.

The organisers of the forum were Rietumu and Riga City Council.

The focus of attention for the summit, titled the ‘Latvia-Kazakhstan Business Meeting’, encompassed the issues of an expansion in levels of cooperation between the two countries in various industries, the advantages of investment made in Latvia for Kazakh entrepreneurs, and the opportunities for the development of free economic zones.

In total, over 300 delegates have participated in the event, these being representatives of the municipalities in the biggest Kazakh and Latvian cities, along with ministries, tax and customs organisations, port and airline administrative bodies, international investors, bankers, management companies, legal advisers, property entrepreneurs, and CEOs from other industries.

As head of the Rietumu Bank representative office in Kazakhstan, Yessetzhan Kossubaev noted upon completion of the forum, “Our countries and their economies to a large extent supplement each other and have many things in common. Such meetings are an excellent opportunity for discussing where we are and also what opportunities and potential we have ahead. This time we touched upon both strategic and practical aspects. The meeting has shown that the countries and their businesses are open to new ideas and projects.”

Kazakhstan and Latvia successfully cooperate in the field of transit and logistics, including container transportation. Kazakhstan ranks fourth regarding the volume of freight delivered along Latvian railways, and it is the only country that has its own grain terminal in the Port of Ventspils – this is the only Kazakh facility in Europe that is engaged in the transhipment of grain to world markets. Kazakh entrepreneurs also use the opportunities offered by other Latvian ports – in particular, large volumes of ferrous alloys and other freight is transported to Europe via the Freeport of Riga.

The trade and economic ties of cooperation between the two countries is also developing in areas such as woodworking, the pharmaceutical industry, food industries, and so on. There are more than sixty joint ventures that have been registered in Kazakhstan with the participation of Latvian capital – predominantly trade companies and financial consultants.

The current Latvia-Kazakhstan Business Meeting is already the second forum that is dedicated to issues surrounding the strengthening business relations between the two countries during recent years. Last year a practical seminar entitled “Kazakhstan-Latvia Cooperation: New Opportunities for Business in Europe” was held in Almaty, having evoked a wide response in business circles.

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