NUR-SULTAN, Kazakhstan: Kazakhstan seeks more investments from Malaysia in the areas of education, transportation and food industry, said Kazakh Invest chairman Saparbek Tuyakbayev.
In fact, there are already some negotiations taking place in the field of education, he said.
“We are currently negotiating. Either by end of the year or early next year, we hope to make some new investment announcement from Malaysia, especially in the field of education,” he told the foreign media at the end of the two-day Astana Economic Forum 2019 here.
However, he declined to reveal details such as which higher education institute is involved.
In the coming years, Kazakhstan aims to build a network of international schools as well as college and education campuses in its capital Nur-Sultan.
Tuyakbayev also said Kazakhstan is keen to tap on the Malaysian Standard on Halal as the country plans to expand its food industry.
“Malaysia’s halal standard is well received in many countries, and if we want to export our food products, especially to Muslim majority countries such as the Gulf states, it would be easier (by having the halal certification),” he said.
Even in Kazakhstan itself, Muslims make up 70 per cent of the total population of 18.3 million.
Malaysia is among Kazakhstan’s leading trade partners in the Southeast Asian region.
In October last year, the Malaysia-Kazakhstan Business Council (MKBC) held its inaugural meeting in Kazakhstan’s largest city and former capital, Almaty.
To-date, Malaysian companies and investors together with their Kazakhstan partners are implementing projects in the fields of oil and gas, construction, agriculture, engineering and renewable energy with investments of about $1 billion (RM4.2 billion).
Trade between the two countries surged nearly four times to $478 million (RM2.0 billion) last year from $123 million (RM513 million) in 2017.
Of the amount, $351 million (RM1.5 billion) came from Kazakhstan’s crude oil exports to Malaysia, while $127 million (RM530 million) was Malaysia’s exports of mainly palm oil, rubber, textile, furniture and electronics goods. – Bernama