The Kazakh-German Business Forum on 20 June in Astana resulted in the signing of 23 commercial agreements worth more than $1.7 billion, reported the Kazakh Invest national company.
The forum was attended by Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev and Germany’s President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who arrived in Kazakhstan on June 19 as part of an official visit.
The parties agreed to cooperate in the processing of rare earth metals, the production of machine tools, and agricultural machinery, as well as in the textile industry, fisheries, and green energy.
One of the major deals is a $22 million agreement signed between Kazenergopower and Siemens to produce medium-voltage distribution devices for the Kazakh energy sector using Siemens technology.
Creada Corporation and HMS Bergbau signed a $200 million agreement for the exploration, extraction, and processing of complex rare metal ores in eastern Kazakhstan.
The Development Bank of Kazakhstan and Landesbank Baden-Württemberg agreed to finance investment projects, which will provide export credit guarantees to German companies and Kazakh companies collaborating with German partners implementing projects in Kazakhstan.
President Tokayev emphasized at the forum that Kazakhstan is the leading economic partner of Germany in Central Asia.
He said the German companies invested $6 billion in the Kazakh economy, with 90% of it directed to the non-resource sector. There are 1,000 companies with German capital in Kazakhstan.
“Kazakhstan warmly welcomes all German companies, large or small. We value the German approach to business based on determination, precision, and responsibility,” said Tokayev.
The Kazakh President expressed interest to collaborate in the development of natural resources.
“This morning, during my meeting with Mr. Steinmeier, we agreed to strengthen our cooperation in the joint exploration and development of natural resources. This includes realizing the intergovernmental partnership agreement on raw materials, industry, and technology,” said Tokayev.
He anticipates that Kazakhstan can become the world’s leading producer of green hydrogen, which can open doors to the production of environmentally friendly steel and aluminum, among other metals.
“We have already signed a $50 billion green hydrogen deal with Svevind Group. It is now one of the largest such projects in the world. Kazakhstan has even greater potential for development in this area,” he added.
President Tokayev also spoke about the importance of the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route (TITR) in the new geopolitical realities, highlighting that the freight traffic to the European Union along the route has doubled since 2022.
“To support the growing volume of trade between East and West, we are working to modernize our infrastructure and eliminate bottlenecks. We intend to increase the capacity of Kazakh ports to 30 million tons,” he added.
The forum also explored opportunities for cooperation in innovation, digitalization, and human capital development.
“Germany is one of the leading innovation hubs worldwide. It is known for setting very high standards in technology and science. In turn, we strive to become a regional innovation and digital center in Eurasia. We aim to engage our German partners in a variety of ways, including technological and digital research and startup development,” said Tokayev.
As part of collaboration in human capital development, Astana hosted the Forum of Rectors of Kazakh and German Universities on June 20, attended by Tokayev and Steinmeier, as well as representatives of 11 German and 25 Kazakh technical universities.
“I have a dream of turning Kazakhstan into a research hub in Eurasia, and in this respect, the involvement of German universities will play an extremely important role in making my dream a reality,” said Tokayev.
He welcomed the opening of the Kazakh-German Engineering Institute at the Caspian State University in Aktau and the Kazakh-German Institute of Science and Technology at the East Kazakhstan Technical University.
On 21 June, Steinmeier visited the Mangystau Region to attend the ceremony of the launch of test drilling at the green hydrogen production plant of the Svevind company.