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Kazachstan: sesame with critical minerals


Kazachstan: sesame with critical minerals

According to the latest World Bank estimates, Kazakhstan already produces 19 of the 34 critical commodities important to the European Union economy. Further deposits, including cobalt, tungsten and lithium, can be mined once the necessary investments in infrastructure have been made. A mission and presentation of Polish companies at one of the most important regional events MINING WEEK in Karaganda is planned for June. It will be organized by the EXPO Katowice.

Kazakhstan, located in the heart of Central Asia, is quietly making a significant mark on the global investment landscape. Over the past decade, the country has undergone a profound transformation to become an enticing destination for investors. This development has been attributed to a combination of its strategic geographic location and abundant natural resources, as well as the Kazakh government’s pro-investment policies.[1].

-This is an opportunity for us – emphasizes Iwona Gramatyka, CEO of EXPO Katowice, which is organizing a mission of Polish companies to Kazakhstan this semester. – We are well aware that the mining industry in this country is facing numerous challenges and problems that are not foreign to Polish mining companies. Strong competition, the issue of energy intensity, labor costs, complicated logistics and, last but not least, the lack of specialists. In each of these areas, both Polish universities and companies, and not only from Silesia, can share their experience and help – she adds.

Kazakhstan is preparing to conduct large-scale geological and geophysical surveys covering an area of more than 400,000 square kilometers. The country is also planning to introduce numerous tax breaks and a range of investment incentives for companies interested in the mining and processing sectors.

In fact, foreign direct investment (FDI) has seen impressive growth. By the end of 2022, FDI inflows into Kazakhstan will have reached $28 billion. – That’s 17.7% more than in 2021. ($23.8 billion). The main investors are mainly Dutch and American companies. It is also worth noting that the involvement of foreign companies is not limited to the mining sector, but also includes industry, services, agriculture and real estate.

Kazakhstan’s strategic geographic location is a key factor in its attractiveness to investors. Situated at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, the country is the between the two major continents, making it an attractive center for intercontinental trade and attractive center for intercontinental trade and economic integration. This unique location has made Kazakhstan a conduit for global investors.

-That’s why we want to interest Polish companies in entering the Kazakh market: both to establish trade relations or cooperation in production, and to implement joint business ventures. Let’s not forget that companies interested in direct investment in Kazakhstan, either by purchasing an existing company on the market or by establishing their own company, can take advantage of various offers to support their expansion – adds the CEO, Iwona Gramatyka.

One such opportunity is the Foreign Expansion Fund managed by PFR TFI, which in recent years has co-financed the foreign expansion of Polish companies in countries such as Romania, Germany and the United States.

Sentiment and resourcefulness support cooperation

The fact that Poland is not a superpower that can afford to conduct economic diplomacy does not deprive us of opportunities to develop a presence on the market of the Central Asian republics. After all, we have excellent technical universities. We can easily find their graduates not only in Vietnam or Mongolia. In addition, historical conditions have created a strange common destiny between our country and Kazakhstan – Poland is a strong and well-associated brand here. It is worth taking advantage of this.

Since Kazakhstan became an important part of the TRACECA (Transport Corridor Europe-Caucasus-Asia) initiative, it has become closer to Europe. Thanks to the cooperation of many countries a logistic route has been created: the route to Kazakhstan or further to China goes through Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and from there to the port of Varna. Then by ferry to the Georgian port of Batumi and the Caspian port of Alyat in Azerbaijan, south of Baku. The next leg of the journey is the port of Kuryk in Kazakhstan. The route then continues deep into Kazakhstan or to the Khorgos terminal on the border with China[2].

-Kazakhstan has announced impressive investments in the expansion of its railways. More than 1,300 kilometers will be built in the next few years. Thanks to their experience and the huge potential of the industry, Polish companies can benefit from the development of Kazakhstan’s railway infrastructure – says President Iwona Gramatyka. – I am convinced that presence is the key to building relationships that translate into business. Hence our mission to Kazakhstan. We encourage Polish companies that want to invest in sales development and are thinking of expanding abroad to join us.

The report “Direction: East. Current trends and attractive directions for foreign expansion in the face of geopolitical turmoil”, prepared by PwC and PFR TFI in cooperation with the Export Credit Insurance Corporation, Kazakhstan was ranked among the most attractive countries for Polish foreign investment. World Bank experts believe that this Asian country has more than 5,000 unexplored deposits of natural resources worth more than $46 trillion yet to be discovered. Kazakhstan plans to increase mineral extraction by 40% by 2029. Polish companies with their experience and facilities can play a significant role in this market.

[1] https://astanatimes.com/2023/11/kazakhstans-rise-as-premier-global-investment-hub/, access: 14.02.2024.

[2] https://www.wnp.pl/logistyka/udany-test-nowego-szlaku-tranzytowego-do-azji-omija-rosje,771185.html, access: 14.02.2024.

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