AS­TANA EYES CLOSER TIES WITH KL

As­tana In­ter­na­tional Fi­nan­cial Cen­tre can boost sec­tor, says Kaza­khstan min­is­ter

New Straits Times - - Business -

BILQIS BAHARI

KUALA LUMPUR bt@me­di­aprima.com.my

KAZA­KHSTAN plans to work to­gether with Malaysia to de­velop a suc­cess­ful Is­lamic fi­nance sec­tor in the for­mer Soviet repub­lic coun­try.

First Vice Min­is­ter of Na­tional Econ­omy of Kaza­khstan Rus­lan Dalenov said the sec­tor could grow on the back of the soon-tobe-launched As­tana In­ter­na­tional Fi­nan­cial Cen­tre (AIFC).

“The AIFC can be used for Is­lamic fi­nance activities, for ex­am­ple to is­sue sukuk,” he said on the side­lines of Malaysia-Kaza­khstan Busi­ness Fo­rum, here, yes­ter­day.

The fo­rum, ti­tled “New Busi­ness Op­por­tu­ni­ties in Kaza­khstan” aimed to pro­mote closer eco­nomic co­op­er­a­tion and com­pre­hen­sive part­ner­ship be­tween Malaysia and Kaza­khstan.

Dalenov said there were a few Malaysian fi­nan­cial com­pa­nies that trained Kaza­khstan’s fi­nan­cial or­gan­i­sa­tions in Is­lamic fi­nance.

Kaza­khstan also planned to de­velop the ha­lal in­dus­try as con­sumer de­mand for prod­ucts and ser­vices con­tin­ues to grow, he added.

Dalenov said a fo­cus group would be cre­ated to dis­cuss ways to strengthen eco­nomic ties be­tween Kaza­khstan and Malaysia.

He also said Kaza­khstan will also work to­wards eas­ing the busi­ness process in the coun­try to at­tract more for­eign com­pa­nies to in­vest there.

Mean­while, Malaysian Ex­ter­nal Trade De­vel­op­ment Corp (Ma­trade) se­nior di­rec­tor in mar­ket ac­cess and in­ter­na­tional part­ner­ship di­vi­sion Abu Bakar Koy­akutty said Kaza­khstan could be a plat­form for Malaysian busi­nesses to pen­e­trate other Cen­tral Asia and Rus­sia mar­kets.

He said there are a few ac­tive lo­cal com­pa­nies in Kaza­khstan deal­ing in the oil and gas, ce­ment and con­struc­tion sec­tors.

Some of these com­pa­nies in­clude Mark­more Sdn Bhd, Reach En­ergy Bhd and Ha­did En­gi­neer­ing (M) Sdn Bhd, to name a few.

Kaza­khstan was Malaysia’s fourth largest trad­ing part­ner last year with to­tal trade val­ued at RM203.58 mil­lion.

Malaysia’s ex­ports to Kaza­khstan were RM180.81 mil­lion, while im­ports to­talled RM22.77 mil­lion last year.

PIC BY SALHANI IBRAHIM

Malaysian Ex­ter­nal Trade De­vel­op­ment Corp se­nior di­rec­tor in mar­ket ac­cess and in­ter­na­tional part­ner­ship di­vi­sion Abu Bakar Koy­akutty (left) with Kaza­khstan First Vice Min­is­ter of Na­tional Econ­omy Rus­lan Dalenov at the Malaysia-Kaza­khstan Busi­ness Fo­rum held in Kuala Lumpur yes­ter­day.

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