Kazakhstan challenge

Kazakhstan – export destination of choice?

Posted on: 24/09/2015 in: Export, New markets, Opportunities for SMEs

Why would UK small businesses consider Kazakhstan as an export destination? In the wake of the country’s forthcoming accession to the World Trade Organisation (WTO), it could be time to take a serious look at the market potential here and the opportunities to export, with very little initial outlay.

In July this year,  the WTO finally accepted Kazakhstan’s bid to join the body, bringing an end to nearly twenty years of negotiations that the WTO conceded were “among the most challenging in its history”. As part of the deal to become the WTO’s 162nd member state, Kazakhstan has agreed to lower import tariffs and put in place further measures with a view to becoming an even more attractive place for foreign investors. Kazakhstan’s President Nazarbayev was present to witness the formal acceptance and spoke of the “new horizons” that WTO membership will herald for the country’s economy,

But could this also be great news for the UK economy if more businesses are encouraged to export to Kazakhstan? After all, you could ask yourself, if the WTO deals with Kazakhstan then why aren’t you?

UKTI ran a workshop at the recent Offshore Europe Conference and Exhibition in Aberdeen, with a focus on opportunities in Kazakhstan and it was well attended and received. The UK’s first trade delegation to Kazakhstan was led by David Cameron two years ago, when former UK Trade and Investment Minister Lord Green commented:

“Kazakhstan is emerging as the dominant economy in central Asia and offers many opportunities for British businesses small and large across a wide variety of sectors”

This WTO deal may have taken years to finalise and often this is a concern of small businesses, that breaking into exports will take up time and resources they simply don’t have. However, there is another way – using a company like Kazopp, which already has a network of local contacts on the ground means that you can fast track your way into the market.

Maybe the question should be why wouldn’t you export to Kazakhstan? Perhaps you don’t know what it might involve?  Why not ask us?