Kazakhstan-Netherlands: Cooperation in the agrarian sector
The Netherlands is one of Kazakhstan’s biggest investors. Dutch businessmen are planning to help develop agricultural sector in Kazakhstan. Agricultural producers of the two countries have discussed cooperation in this area at a meeting held in the Hague. As the parties mentioned, Kazakhstan needs technologies and the Netherlands needs new export markets. According to the Dutch entrepreneurs, Kazakhstan will give the opportunity to access a big market of the Eurasian Economic Union with its 200 million people and also the giant market of China.
WILKO ROGGENKAMP, FORMER HEAD OF DUTCH ECONOMIC OFFICE IN ALMATY:
- Kazakhstan is specially very well-positioned climate wise for example for the agriculture. I mean we had a top sector agriculture sector from Holland came to visit Kazakhstan and they said that southern part of Kazakhstan is ideal. So it’s much easier to export tomatoes, cucumbers grown in Kazakhstan to Russia now with the beautiful Western European – Western China highway. it’s very easy to transport it into Russia so I think Kazakhstan could become the food hub in that specific area.
MAGZHAN ILYASOV, KAZAKH AMBASSADOR TO NETHERLANDS:
- We can feel the keen interest from the Dutch businessmen, they ask very precise questions. Considering the new prospects the agricultural sector, likecattle farming, expanding irrigated land and agricultural equipment renovation. I think that all these areas can be used by the Dutch businessmen for the development of their projects and business in Kazakhstan.
Favorable business environment, subsidies, tax and customs concessions for the investors in the free economic zones attract the Dutch businessmen.
ASSEL SUANKULOVA, SPOKESPERSON, KAZAKH INVEST:
- Our state is making effort to create the favorable investment climate in Kazakhstan. Kazakh Invest contributes to creating conditions for an investor who visits Kazakhstan can feel comfortable and free as well as get information about existing preferences. We got a very big interest from the Dutch business associations.
Today, agriculture is priorized in Kazakhstan. The fourth of agricultural products are exported to markets of the neighboring countries. By 2021, six seed processing plants will be built in Kazakhstan. One third of oilseeds are exported abroad. Up to 40% of milk and dairy products are produced in small farms. By 2020, the volume of the dairy market can reach US$2 billion. Representatives of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development finds the industry very profitable and give loans to the milk industry.
ASSEL AITKHOZHINA, SPOKESPERSON, EBRD IN KAZAKHSTAN:
- We are talking about the market of greenhouse technologies and Dutch are one of the leaders in this area. When we talk about meat and dairy products we can also look at technologies related to biogas and biofuel. I think that considering how much land and natural resources we have in Kazakhstan, including solar power and water resources, I think that we have the opportunity to build the greenhouse business.
According to the Dutch experts, due to being located in the new Silk Road between the major markets of the neighboring countries, Kazakhstan will become the new agrarian center of Eurasia.