|Monday, 17 December 2012 14:04|
ASTANA, Kazakhstan: Kazakhstan is moving aggressively to improve trade ties with Malaysia, especially in the areas of Islamic finance and halal food."It is important to continue to build and enhance cooperation with Malaysia, as the transfer of expertise has proven successful in generating economic areas in those previously explored," said the Deputy Chairman, Ministry of Industry and New Technologies Kazakhstan, Erlan K. Khairov.
"In addition to global interest in the Islamic financial system, this effort is in line with our desire to become the country's halal hub for the Middle East," he told Malaysian reporters on a one-week invite to the country to enhance bilateral ties.
Khairov said the number of sukuk issued in Kazakhstan in its Islamic finance sector, was currently at over US$200 million (RM600 million).
"We have begun to collaborate with Malaysia in the issuance of this sukuk. This is the first step and hope there will be more such moves in the future.
"Private banks have also shown an interest in issuing sukuk in Kazakhstan," said Khairov.
He said Kazakhstan was taking seriously its participation in trade expositions organised by Malaysia, as part of the sustained moves to improve trade relations between both countries.
"We are very confident that this partnership will help us to move further as we participate in forums, such as the World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF) in Malaysia recently," he added.
He also stressed that the expertise of Malaysian companies was welcome in Kazakhstan to ensure the success of its economic programme, particularly too, for the oil and gas, construction, and agricultural sectors.
There are reportedly 60 Malaysian companies with an interest in Kazakhstan at present.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak visited Kazakhstan in June last year to enhance bilateral ties.
Kazakhstan President Nurusultan Nazarbayev reciprocated with a visit to Malaysia in April this year.
It was reported then that total trade between both countries last year was at US$61.1 million (RM183.3 million), with Malaysia's imports at US1 million (RM3 million), while exports totalled US$60.1 million (RM180.3 million).