• Opening up business travel to Kazakhstan

    Posted 17/06/2014

    Passport Visa image

    Visa-free travel pilot unveiled

    The President of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev last week announced a pilot scheme to remove visa requirements for the citizens of 10 countries, including the UK. The move is further evidence of the country’s commitment to strengthening bilateral partnerships and establishing more favourable conditions for foreign business and investment.

    This visa-free regime will run from 15th July 2014 until 15th July 2015 and is aimed at those countries which have the best record of investment in Kazakhstan or greatest potential to invest in the future. During the pilot period, UK citizens with a valid passport will be able to enter, exit and transit through Kazakhstan on multiple occasions without a visa for up to 15 days at a time. Longer stays for business travel may be permitted upon application.

    At the conclusion of the one year pilot, the system will be reviewed by officials, as to whether it should continue.

    Watch out for further details of the pilot which are expected to be publicised within the next few weeks.

    This makes it a great time for potential exporters to the country to seize upon the vast array of export opportunities the oil/gas and construction industries have given rise to in Kazakhstan.

    Could your business become the next big export success story?

    Find out more about how we can help by contacting us today.



    Posted in: Opportunities for SMEs, Recent Developments

  • Kazakhstan is EU’s reliable energy partner

    Posted 30/10/2013

    While energy price hikes are giving UK consumers (and MPs) plenty to think about at the moment, hi-tech businesses looking to escape the economic gloom would do well to take the advice of the Head of the EU delegation to Kazakhstan, Aurelia Bouchez.

    At KIOGE 2013, the recent Oil & Gas Exhibition in Almaty, Ms Bouchez noted that:

    “Extraction of oil at the Kashagan field, one of the world’s largest energy projects, is the symbol of achievements and potential of Kazakhstan. Foreign investments mean not only new financial resources but also involve the transfer of innovative ideas and expert knowledge and facilitate establishment of ties with the global economy”

    “There are many opportunities for business and both sides are interested in their development”.

    If your business supplies innovative products or expertise which would be of interest to potential oil and gas clients, or for their related construction projects, please ask us how we can help bring these to the market.

    Posted in: Recent Developments

  • Why would you export to Kazakhstan?

    Posted 14/10/2013

    Here’s one answer.  The KazMunaiGas corporation has recently announced a $23 billion project to expand production at the Tengiz field, to be implemented between 2013-2018.  Projects like this are currently planned and taking place across the country.  Compare this to projects currently taking place in the UK.  Only Hinkley Point C, which will involve an estimated £14 billion investment over a similar period, is in the same league. (Unless you count HS2, which we’re not counting on yet!).

    $23 billion Tengiz expansion project approved

    UK exports to Kazakhstan in 2012 were valued at £375 million, but the country remains a source of untapped potential. According to UK Trade and Investment Minister Lord Green:

    “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”

    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?

    Posted in: Recent Developments

  • Business visas and ownership … changes you need to know

    Posted 11/10/2013

    Kazakhstan is a great place to do business, but be prepared for a more bureaucratic approach than you may be used to here in the UK.

    Recent changes mean that British Citizens can no longer expect to obtain a business visa at the airport in Kazakhstan – you’ll need to apply well in advance of your visit, and include a letter of invitation from your business contact.  Our experience is that the more formal approach doesn’t necessarily mean that you can be sure when documents will be processed.  Our up-to-the-minute knowledge means that we can help you understand what’s likely to happen when, and how you can make sure everything goes to plan.

    At the moment, UK businesses can wholly own locally-registered companies, although it’s always been worthwhile working closely with a local partner.  With extensive natural assets in Kazakhstan, it’s understandable that the government are looking for ways to secure investment, while also developing local jobs.  Major companies in Kazakhstan have to report their spend on local content, with ownership of their contractors being a factor.

    Based on discussions with our local contacts, we have taken the view that it is likely that new businesses in Kazakhstan will increasingly need a locally-based majority shareholder with a shareholding of at least 50% in order to satisfy government targets.  We anticipate Kazakhstan following the middle-eastern model where at least 51% of shares must be locally-owned.  Our experience of the middle eastern model has been that it is realistic to expect to be able to secure a local sponsor who will hold a majority of shares in trust, while the international investor holds the beneficial interest and generates revenue through items supplied directly and management fees and royalties for the support they provide.

    Let us know if you would like to get out to visit potential customers in Kazakhstan, or if your next step is to set up in country.

    Posted in: Recent Developments