Though the global economy is still in a synchronized slowdown, the United States and Kazakhstan remain strong partners when it comes to trade.
“American business is interested in investing in Kazakhstan, so the focus will be on investment opportunities for further cooperation in the realm of economy,” said William Moser, the U.S. ambassador to Kazakhstan, during his visit to West Kazakhstan Province on November 6, according to a report by Zakon.
Moser was in the northwestern corner of Kazakhstan for a meeting with the local authorities to discuss existing projects as well as possibilities for business activities in the region that borders Russia. The event was organized by the British-Dutch oil and gas conglomerate Shell, responsible for the exploration of the Karachaganak field, and brought together André Cartens, the Dutch ambassador to Kazakhstan, and Michael Gifford, the United Kingdom’s ambassador.
“For me, this working visit to Uralsk and the West Kazakhstan Province is a good opportunity to see the results of long-term investments in joint projects,” Moser said, mentioning American Corners, information resource centers that provide access to high-quality English language resources and information about education in the United States.
Meanwhile, cooperation between Washington and Nur-Sultan goes far beyond social projects.
Ambassador Moser’s statement came after Kazakhstan’s National Bank reported that in 2018 the total gross inflow of foreign direct investment into the country amounted to $24 billion. The U.S. was at the top of the list in terms of foreign investors, having brought in nearly $5.3 billion. As of January 1, 2019, foreign direct investment in Kazakhstan totaled $160.4 billion, including $31.2 billion from the United States, according to data released by State Department.
The accumulated value of the U.S. investment into the Kazakh economy reached nearly $36 billion, of which $33.9 billion was invested into the mining industry. Kazakhstan’s financial and insurance spheres ranked second with $974.1 million of the U.S. capital invested, while projects related to the professional, scientific and technical activities brought in $509.1 million.
Washington sees Kazakhstan, one of the world’s largest countries and the most developed in Central Asia, as a promising market for business though they are thousands of miles apart.
Chevron was the first American company to make inroads into Kazakhstan, in 1993. The U.S. is now involved in 17 sectors of the Kazakhstani economy, worth several billions of dollars and including energy, agriculture, insurance and infrastructure. The list of American companies recently came into the Kazakh market includes Primus Power, Spancrete, Uber, Starbucks and Netflix. As of September, 382 companies with the American capital have been operating in Kazakhstan, including 335 small, 19 medium and 28 large size companies.
Trade between the two countries has grown steadily since the mid-2000s, reaching $1.59 billion in 2018, while American exports to Kazakhstan amounted to $1.04 billion and Kazakhstani goods exported to the U.S. were worth $548 million. Kazakhstan has supplied the U.S. with non-renewable energy resources, including oil and oil products, iron, steel, uranium and tantalum.