Kazakhstan agribusiness forum woos foreign investors

Kazakh agribusinesses signed a number of deals, said to have an average value of $300m, with foreign investment partners at KazAgro's three-day event.

KazAgro National Management Holdings, the Kazakhstan agribusiness and development initiative established by the government, held a forum for private investors on the 17-19 June, showcasing the opportunities for agri investment in the country.

The three-day event, part of the Kazakh government’s national programme ‘Agribusiness in 2020’, brought together 90 foreign investors and 100 representatives from local farms and agribusinesses.

KazAgro announced in a press release that a number of deals were signed between foreign and local partners, but a spokesperson from KazAgro said the value of these deals was not yet confirmed.

“It’s too early to confirm how much investors will commit,” said Altynay Arapova, director of department on direct investments at KazAgro. “[We expect] the average [value] of all projects to be between $250-350 million. Most of the Kazakh parties are still looking for a foreign investment partner.”

A range of international investors established agreements with Kazakh agribusinesses. Egyptian firm Cairo Poultry Company signed a deal to begin poultry production in Kazakhstan, while the Salim Group made agreements to begin fruit and vegetable processing in the country.

One of the biggest deals of the event was an agreement signed between Irrifrance, an irrigation system supplier, and Socio-Entrepreneurial Corporation, a Kazakh government-owned company that furthers the government’s investment aims by seeking private investment partners. SEC is also the largest corn producer in Kazakhstan, with over half of the domestic market share.