KOTA KINABALU, Sept 22 (Bernama) -- Kazakhstan wants to become part of Sabah’s international trade growth through various fields and expertise including infrastructure, finance, tourism and food security.
In realising this aspiration, the Kazakhstan Embassy to Malaysia held its first business forum at the Sabah International Expo (SIE) 2023, here today, which among other things, is to promote business and economic opportunities offered by the country.
Kazakhstan Ambassador to Malaysia Bulat Sugurbayev said their participation in the SIE 2023 was also a platform to enhance ties between the country and Sabah, which has massive business and economic potential.
“Kazakhstan is far away although it is the 9th largest country in the world, top 10, (but) we are not very well known in Malaysia and in Sabah.
“That is why we are here to promote and raise awareness (about Kazakhstan) because there are a lot of (business and economic) opportunities,” he told Bernama.
The SIE 2023 started yesterday and runs till Sunday (Sept 24) at the Sabah International Convention Centre (SICC).
It is jointly organised by the Sabah government, the Federation of Sabah Industries (FSI) and the Malaysian International Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MICCI) Sabah Branch.
The main objective of the biennial event is to provide a platform for local and international exhibitors to meet, establish business contacts and showcase the latest products and services from the Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia- Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) specifically and ASEAN in general.
Sugurbayev said there are seven to eight speakers from Kazakhstan involved in the business forum to explain and discuss interesting topics such as property development and management, infrastructure, financing and the banking sector as well as digital banking.
He said the tourism sector is also at the top of the agenda as Sabah is well known in Kazakhstan and many citizens of that country have visited Sabah over the last 20 to 30 years.
“Tourism is something that we can learn from Sabah. We can promote together, both ways, Kazakhstan people could go to Sabah for the beautiful sea and resort, while Sabahans could go to Kazakhstan for another type of nature. Four seasons country,” he said.
Seeing developing connectivity as an important aspect, Sugurbayev said they are now working hard with AirAsia to establish direct flights from Kazakhstan to Malaysia to further facilitate businesses and tourists between the two nations.
He said that with growing people-to-people and business-to-business connections, AirAsia may establish direct flights between Sabah and Kazakhstan within the next 10 years.
Sugurbayev said providing food security is also one of the trades that can potentially be developed considering Kazakhstan is a strong agrarian country, while Sabah is famous for seafood and fruits.
“Kazakhstan can explore how we can export food to Sabah and import seafood and fruits from Sabah,” he said, adding that Sabah could also leverage Kazakhstan’s expertise in developing property including residential, office and commercial as well as school and hospital infrastructure.
According to the Department of Statistics Malaysia’s Sabah External Trade Statistics Report, Sabah’s total trade last year has since recorded the highest value with RM118.1 billion, a 35.4 per cent increase from RM87.2 billion in 2021.
Crude palm oil recorded the highest export amount of RM30.3 billion, followed by palm oil at RM21.1 billion and liquefied natural gas at RM5.2 billion.
Imports for machinery and transport equipment recorded the highest number of RM12.4 billion, followed by food RM6.4 billion and manufactured goods RM5.3 billion.
Peninsular Malaysia was the major trading partner with RM25.1 billion in exports and RM25.0 billion in imports, followed by China (exports: RM8.5 billion, imports: RM3.7 billion); India (exports: RM5.9 billion, imports: RM0.5 billion); European Union (exports: RM4.3 billion, imports: RM1.3 billion); and South Korea (exports: RM4.0 billion, imports: RM1.0 billion).
BERNAMA provides up-to-date authentic and comprehensive news and information which are disseminated via BERNAMA Wires; www.bernama.com; BERNAMA TV on the Astro 502, unifi TV 631 and MYTV 121 IFLIX channels and BERNAMA Radio on the FM93.9 (Klang Valley), FM107.5 (Johor), FM107.9 (Kota Kinabalu) and RM100.9 (Kuching) frequencies.
Follow us on social media :
Facebook : @bernamaofficial, @bernamatv, @bernamaradio
Twitter : @bernama.com, @BernamaTV, @bernamaradio
Instagram : @bernamaofficial, @bernamatvofficial, @bernamaradioofficial
TikTok : @bernamaofficial