Also, French Ambassador, Ph. Martine, President of the Chamber of Commerce France–Kazakhstan, G. Fries, Minister for Investments and development, Zh. Kassymbek, leaders and representatives of various business structures of the two countries took part in the forum.
In his welcoming address to the forum participants, Bakytzhan Sagintayev noted that France is one of the main trade partners of Kazakhstan in Europe, over a ten-year period of strategic partnership, cooperation has been established in many areas of development, and the government appreciates and supports French businessmen.
Speaking about institutional reforms in Kazakhstan, B. Sagintayev emphasized that the goal of a consistent course for the Third Modernization of the country, initiated by our President, is the creation of a new model of economic growth. The state policy is based on technological modernization, strengthening of the quality of human capital and the development of innovations. A large-scale national project on digitalization has been launched.
The Prime Minister also noted that Kazakhstan is continuing its steady course to increase global competitiveness, improving the investment climate and opening the country and market to friends and partners and expressed confidence that the French business community will be able to take an active part in this quite rich and diverse economic agenda.
During the round table, issues of technological modernization, digitization, development of innovations, formation of a new economy in Kazakhstan and participation of French business in these processes were discussed. The entrepreneurs of the two countries considered promising areas for the implementation of joint projects in the fields of agriculture, mining and manufacturing, civil aviation, transport and trade, tourism, standardization, education and others.
For reference: Foreign trade turnover between Kazakhstan and France for 2017 amounted to $3.3 billion, which is 38.5% higher than in 2016 ($2.5 billion). Exports from Kazakhstan last year amounted to $2.8 billion, which is 59.7% higher than in 2016 ($1.8 billion).
The gross inflow of direct foreign investments to Kazakhstan for 2005-2017 was $264.4 billion, of which $14.1 billion was from France. As of 01.04.2018, 220 legal entities, branches and representative offices with French participation were registered in Kazakhstan, 138 of which are in operation. Among them are representatives of such large companies as Airbus, Alstom, Lactalis and others. Citizens of France can freely enter Kazakhstan without issuing a visa, and the capitals of the two countries are connected by direct flights. Currently, the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Government of the Russian Federation have an Agreement on the Promotion and Mutual Protection of Investments, signed on 03.02.1998 in Paris and entered into force on 21.08.2000.