Dubai – MENA Herald: Central Asian nations require long term strategies to diversify their economies and attract foreign private sector investments to the region, stated leading entrepreneurs from the region on Day One of the first edition of the Commonwealth of Independent States Global Business Forum (CIS GBF 2016) in Dubai, which is being organised by Dubai Chamber from February 17-18, 2016.
Speaking at a session on ‘Emerging Multinationals – Who, What and Where Next’, Mammad Karimov, Founder of Khazar Ventures, Azerbaijan, said the time is right for Azerbaijan-based companies to diversify their portfolio. He said that despite challenges in area such as logistics, legislation and recruitments, there are several success stories in Azerbaijan where companies have become major global players within a short period. “People have showed that there are new ways to do business and achieve success,” he said.
Karimov said the opening of Dubai Chamber office in Azerbaijani capital Baku reflects the country’s strong relations with the UAE, particularly Dubai.
“Dubai has been a good partner and Dubai Chamber has been playing a key role in encouraging cooperation between entrepreneurs in the two countries,” he said.
Aidan Karibzhanov, General Director, Visor Holding, Kazakhstan, said hydrocarbon sector with its massive assets offers plenty of opportunities in Kazakhstan.
“Kazakhstan is witnessing significant activity in several other sectors such as banking, luxury and retail but the success of these sectors are dependent on the success of the oil sector. The country therefore requires a long term strategy involving reforms in political and legal systems to diversify the economy and attract investments from multinational companies,” said Karibzhanov.
Samson Pkhakadze, President of Wissol Group, Georgia, said his country has been successful in creating a diversified economy with sectors such as infrastructure, transport, public services and construction significantly contributing to the economy.
Georgia has simplified its taxation process and recent fast paced reforms have brought down the number of taxes to five. Besides, he pointed out that up to 80% imports involve zero percentage taxes.
Pkhakadze said Georgia offers plenty of investment opportunities for Gulf based investors with its transparent and business-friendly taxation system. He highlighted areas such as transport, infrastructure energy, power generation, tourism as major investment areas.
The CIS GBF 2016 has been organised under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, on the theme, ‘Ancient Routes – New Opportunities’, and explores opportunities on old trading links to neighbouring regions and beyond as well as new Economic Union Eurasian alliances.