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ASTANA (TCA) — A Kazakh-Japanese business forum on the topic "Regions of Kazakhstan: prospects for Japanese investments" was held in Tokyo on October 31 under the auspices of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Embassy of Kazakhstan in Japan, the official website of the Prime Minister of Kazakhstan reported.

The Kazakh delegation was headed by the Vice Minister for Investment and Development Yerlan Khairov. The Forum was attended by representatives of the Government of Kazakhstan, regional administrations, and entrepreneurs of Kazakhstan. From the Japanese side, political and public figures, diplomats, experts, heads of more than 150 large Japanese companies such as Marubeni Corp, METI, NEC, JOGMEC, Tokyo Rope, NYK Group, and JETRO attended the Forum.

The Forum participants discussed achievements in the Kazakh-Japanese business relations, investment opportunities in the regions of Kazakhstan, issues of Kazakhstan's investment policy and prospects for developing economic relations with Japan.

Yerlan Khairov noted in his speech that Japan is one of Kazakhstan's key strategic partners in East Asia. "We have an intergovernmental commission for trade and economic cooperation and a business council. Since 2015, there is an agreement on the promotion and mutual protection of investments. Moreover, a visa-free regime has been introduced for Japanese citizens in Kazakhstan. A regulatory and legal framework has been created to open direct flights between the Republic of Kazakhstan and the cities of Tokyo, Osaka. All these measures help activating business contacts and promoting trade, economic and social ties between our countries. Japan is one of the largest investors in Kazakhstan. Over the past 10 years, the inflow of direct investment from Japan was $5.5 billion," Khairov said.

Deputy Chairman of Kazakh Invest national investment promotion agency, Zhandos Nurlanov, delivering a presentation on "A New Approach to Attracting Foreign Investors", said: "Japan is one of the most technologically advanced nations in the world. And Kazakhstan is interested in cooperation with Japanese companies, attracting the latest technologies and investments in its economy. I hope that today's business forum will give a new impetus to the direct investment interaction of Japanese companies with the regions of Kazakhstan.”

From 2005 to early 2016, the gross inflow of direct investment from Japan to Kazakhstan was $5.1 billion. In 2015, trade between the two countries amounted to $1.4 billion.

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