Over the first seven months this year, Kazakhstan’s exports to Italy grew twofold ($8.7 billion) over the same period last year, according to the Ministry of Industry and Infrastructural Development of Kazakhstan.
At the same time, the country increased its imports from Italy. Throughout the affected period the rate rose by 9.7%.
The general turnover between Kazakhstan and Italy over the period under review reached $9.2 billion, the ministry said.
However, the potential for mutual trade isn’t deployed fully, according to Marat Karabayev, a vice minister of industry and infrastructural development of Kazakhstan, who discussed all these issues with the Italian businessmen at the Kazakhstan Machinery Fair in Astana. This international exhibition is aimed at intensifying the close partnership between Kazakhstan and other counties in the spheres of metallurgy, chemical, textile and construction industries.
“We are focusing on investment projects in different industries because we believe this is an effective tool to industrialize our country. It is expected that Kazakhstan and Italy will establish a joint pool of industrial projects,” said Karabayev.
Among Kazakhstan’s imports from Italy are valves, pumps, ventilators and other industrial equipment. In turn, Kazakhstan exports to Italy ferroalloys, unprocessed aluminum, precious metals, steel and lead.
In Europe, Italy is ranked third in terms of machinery, metallurgy, petrochemicals and garment industry and second in the shoe industry.
According to Kazakhstani Prime Minister Alikhan Smailov, who attended the event, Kazakhstan should export machinery twice as much as it imports. He said that the government pays great attention to this industry and is ready to support it. In order to identify bottlenecks and other obstacles, the authorities want to stay in touch with the machinery industry.
Anuar Shukumov from the Association of Automobile Business of Kazakhstan believes that local automakers are in a position where they can significantly increase their export of cars to other EEU member states. “Amid rising geopolitical tensions Kazakhstan has a real chance to fill a gap in the car market in the region. To achieve this ambitious goal we need cheap loans to increase the working capital of export-oriented businesses here in Kazakhstan. Given the current situation, Kazakhstan might be able to export about one million cars,” he said during Kazakhstan Machinery Fair.