ASTANA EYES CLOSER TIES WITH KL
Astana International Financial Centre can boost sector, says Kazakhstan minister
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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.
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.