20 Years of Independence of the Republic of Kazakhstan


Mar  15th


(March 15, 2012, Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan)

H.E. Tun Musa Hitam,
Tan Sri Ahmad Fuzi Abdul Razak,
Tan Sri Dr Wan Mohd Zahid Mohd Noordin,
Mr. Syed Abu Bakar Almohdzar,
Members of the Media,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

It gives me great pleasure to welcome all of you here today at the ceremony of awarding H.E. Tun Musa Hitam with the Jubilee Medal «20 Years of Independence of the Republic of Kazakhstan». It is symbolic that this event takes place on the eve of celebrating the 20 years anniversary since establishing diplomatic ties between the Republic of Kazakhstan and Malaysia.

On March 16, 1992, our countries exchanged notes of cooperation, and since then Kazakhstan-Malaysia interrelationship has developed dynamically and fruitfully, the intense political dialogue has been established at the highest level, the mutual interest towards strengthening ties in many areas is growing.

During the period from 1993 to 2012, the volume of Malaysian direct investments into the Kazakhstan economy has reached USD3.1 million. With that I would like to note that the existing potential of bilateral cooperation has a much wider perspective, and in that respect, favourable conditions have been created in Kazakhstan for building partnerships.

Our country is pursuing the policy of maximum openness and stability which is key to attracting foreign companies. The volume of attracted investments is testimony to the trust garnered by Kazakhstan on the part of foreign investors.

Information: since 1993 Kazakhstan has attracted USD 173 billion with the positive dynamics of growth.

Kazakhstan has substantial reserves of natural resources. We have the 9th largest oil reserves, the 8th largest coal and molybdenum reserves, the 5th largest reserves of iron ore, the 3rd of zinc, the 2nd of uranium and the largest chromium reserves.

According to the international rating agency Standard & Poor’s, Kazakhstan has reached the «BBB+» level in long term rating in foreign currency. The country’s credit perspective is defined as «stable». It should be noted that among the CIS countries, Kazakhstan holds the first place for Standard & Pool’s foreign currency rating.

Information: On November 7, 2011 Standard & Poor’s raised Kazakhstan’s credit rating by one position: from BBB to BBB+.
«ВВВ» Group – Russia, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Bahrain, Peru, Mexico. «ВВВ+» Group – Ireland, South Africa, Thailand.

In the World Bank’s «Doing Business 2012» rating, Kazakhstan is ranked 47th out of 183 countries, (an increase by 11 from 58th position just a year ago) notably ahead of many CIS countries.

In order to promote further growth and development, Kazakhstan needs to have close relationships with the advanced countries of the world, in order to learn from and apply their experience in diversifying the economy. In this context, I would like to highlight that fostering cooperation with the countries of Southeast Asia (SEA) and the Association of the Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is an utmost priority in the foreign policy of the Republic of Kazakhstan in Asia. This is reflected in the strengthening of bilateral relationships and the broadening of institutional frameworks to enhance cooperation between our countries.

Malaysia is regarded by us as a key partner in Southeast Asia. Showing an impressive rate of economic development for the past three decades, Malaysia has developed laudable best practices in the area of modern high technologies and industries. Malaysian investments and technology base can assist in developing Kazakhstan’s manufacturing sector in producing high value added products, within the framework of implementing Kazakhstan’s Strategy of Industrial Innovative Development. There are prospects of cooperation in the financial sector, in particular developing the Islamic banking sector in our country.

Last year was characterized by a notable increase of interest from Malaysian businesses towards entrepreneurial activity in Kazakhstan. A strong indication of that trend is the convening of the 7th World Islamic Economic Forum in Astana on 7th to 9th June, 2011, jointly organised with the WIEF Foundation.

Participation of high level Malaysian dignitaries such as the Prime Minister, Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Tun Razak, former Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tun Abdullah Badawi, Minister of International Trade and Industry, Dato’ Sri Mustapa Mohamed, Minister of Women, Family and Community Development, Dato’ Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, Director-General of Malaysian Industrial Development Auhtority (MIDA), Datuk Noharuddin Nordin, Chief Executive of the Institute of Strategic and International Studies (ISIS), Dato’ Dr. Mahani Zainal Abidin, as well as Vice President of Khazanah Nasional and other representatives of the Malayisan business elite, whose total number was over 300, has definitely given significance to the event.

Some of the high-level negotiations at the 7th WIEF include agreements on greater cooperation through the Kazakhstan-Malaysia Trade and Economic Commission, and the establishment of the Kazakhstan-Malaysia Business Council to enable the private sectors of Kazakhstan and Malaysia to interact regularly and discuss opportunities in the area of investment. By the way, the chairman of the Malaysian part of the Business Council is now present at the event Dato’ Dr. Norraesah Mohamad, and on the Kazakhstan part, the head of «Atamaken» union Abylai Myrzakhmetov was appointed as chairman.

During the 7th World Islamic Economic Forum, which some have coined the «Islamic Davos», our Head of State Nursultan Nazarbayev suggested a few initiatives. In particular, the President urged the Islamic Development Bank to activate funding of the railway construction project between Kazakhstan – Turkmenistan – Iran with the total length of 963 km, and total cost of USD1.5 billion. His Excellency noted that the availability of transport communication and logistic schemes is an important condition for increasing trade and economic cooperation among the countries of the Muslim world. In addition, H.E. Nursultan Nazarbayev suggested creating a system of food aid within the framework of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) placing the headquarters in Astana.

In general, we can say that the event organized in cooperation with the WIEF Foundation was held at the highest level. In this regard, our President has signed a special Decree on awarding Tun Musa Hitam, the chairman of the WIEF Foundation with the Jubilee Medal «20 Years of Independence of the Republic of Kazakhstan».

This medal is awarded to the citizens of the Republic of Kazakhstan and foreign nationals who have made a significant contribution to the establishment of statehood, strengthening of the sovereignty and social and economic development of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

The Jubilee Medal is bestowed by the President. The Jubilee Medal can be bestowed by the Secretary of State of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Ambassadors Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Akims of the regions and Astana and Almaty cities, on behalf of the President.

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,

Allow me, on behalf of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev, to present the Jubilee Medal to Tun Musa Hitam for his significant contribution to the development of economic partnership, strengthening of friendship and cooperation between the peoples of Kazakhstan and Malaysia and the contribution to the development of bilateral cooperation between our two countries.

I wish you a fruitful dialogue and successful work.

Thank you.