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Kazakhstan as a Chance for Foreign Trade

Published: February 23, 2011; 02:04 · (Vindobona)

Austrian Economic Chamber promotes further development of economic relations with Kazakhstan.

Kazakhstan as a Chance for Foreign Trade / Picture: © Vindobona.org

During the visit of a high-level business delegation from Kazakhstan led by Kazakh Deputy Prime Minister Issekeshev to the Austrian Economic Chamber (WKÖ), Chamber Vice President Richard Schenz said that "the economic ties between Austria and Kazakhstan have increased in recent years”.

Kazakhstan ranks behind Russia and Ukraine, as the No. 3 Austrian export market in the CIS. Austrian exports to Kazakhstan have increased tenfold from 2000 to 2008 to € 252m. Schenz says: "Due to the economic and financial crisis, declines occurred in the last two years. But we hope to reach the before the crisis level soon again."

Austria supplies the Republic of Kazakhstan mainly with pharmaceuticals, machinery, and goods made of iron and steel. Imports from Kazakhstan consist mainly of crude oil. Austria's direct investments in Kazakhstan amount to around two billion euro. Besides the two major investors OMV and Unicredit Bank Austria, about 50 Austrian companies are represented by sales branches, representative offices or through a distributor in Kazakhstan.

Schenz sees opportunities for even closer economic cooperation especially in oil and gas, petrochemical, agricultural and food industries, as well as in mining, metallurgy, metal goods production or expansion of winter tourism. "The Asian Winter Games have just ended in Kazakhstan and significant sums have been invested in construction and upgrading of sports infrastructure," said the Austrian economy delegate Michael Müller from Almaty.