Nepal, Kazakhstan economic cooperation highlighted
KAROBAR CORRESPONDENT
Friday, Jun 15, 2018
1011

The Asian Institute of Diplomacy and International Affairs (AIDIA) hosted a Round Table Meeting on 'Trade and Investment Opportunities in Kazakhstan" in Kathmandu on Thursday. The main objective of the meeting was to discuss and explore new horizons in trading and investing in Kazakhstan, CEO of the organizer Sunil K C said in his opening remarks.
He also emphasized on the growing prominence of Kazakhstan in the international arena and briefed current status of bilateral relations between Nepal and Kazakhstan.
The Chief Guest of the event Bulat Sarsenbayev, Ambassador of Kazakhstan to India, who is also the Ambassador to Nepal but has not yet submitted his credentials to Nepal president, started his remarks by stating what a landlocked country is and drew the parallels between Kazakhstan and Nepal. He explained the history and evolution of Kazakhstan and how it has grown after gaining independence from the Soviet Union and stated that attaining stability in the nation was the biggest challenge for them as it is a relatively new nation, only 27 years and has over 100 ethnic groups residing in the nations.
Ambassador Bulat also explained on how students were send abroad to top universities to complete education, who gained wide knowledge and came back to serve the nation. He explained how they have started developing new value-added industries other than the traditional industries including agriculture and mining. The former 'breadbasket of the Soviet Union' is the 5th largest exporter of fine quality wheat in the world. He explicated their journey of being a 'recipient' to a 'donor' of international aid and shed light on the different products that they have been developing and producing both for domestic consume and exporting general electricals, locomotives, vehicles, helicopters and goods for army like armors, etc.
The mentioned the rising per capita income of Kazakhstan that is $13,000, the highest among its neighbors.
He also mentioned that his main aim of the visit is to invite the Finance Minister of Nepal and the Mayors of Kathmandu and Lalitpur to the celebration of the 20th anniversary of Astana, the capital city of Kazakhstan. He, on the behalf of the government wants to initiate the development of the bilateral relations with Nepal, which began in 2015 and highlighted various areas of emerging interest where Nepal could invest, like tourism, education, sports and culture. Speaking about the sports arena, which is one among the strongholds of Kazakhstan and sportsperson from different nations like India, who are utilizing it and participating there, mentioned about the tourists from Kazakhstan who travel to Nepal to explore the nation and also their sportsmen who come to climb the Mt Everest.
Ambassador Bulat, on the occasion, also talked about the possibilities of Nepal to trade with Kazakhstan and vice versa and also gave information on the mining industry and the metals they export. He also spoke about the connectivity with ports and explained ways of how to trade and transportation of goods to and from Nepal to Kazakhstan and gave some idea on how they have managed to successfully transport and conduct trade after being a landlocked nation.
Shyam KC, Research and Development Director of AIDIA, on the occasion, emphasized on Nepal and Kazakhstan cooperation through the regional organization like Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in which Nepal is the dialogue partner. "It will also be pragmatic for Nepal to seek full membership of SCO, in which India and China both are the member states," he added. Similarly, he also stated as Nepal and Kazakstan both are the part of Chinese Belt and Road Initiative project, Nepal can learn from the experience of Kazakhstan.