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CICA business community discuss food security, renewable energy and green finance

The Sixth Plenary Session of the CICA Business Council and the Eighth CICA Business Forum were held in the Kazakh capital on 13 November 2023 at the Astana International Financial Centre and gathered more than 140 government and business representatives from 20 CICA Member States. The events were hosted by the Atameken National Chamber of Entrepreneurs, the CICA Business Council Chairmanship with the support of the CICA Secretariat.

This year the agenda of the business events was centred on ensuring food security, promoting renewable energy and developing green finance in the CICA area, as well as included a presentation of a number of business and investment projects in these fields.

CICA Secretary General Kairat Sarybay participated in the opening ceremony of the Business Council. “The CICA economic dimension is of paramount importance, especially in the context of the Asian economy's growth and its increasing significance at the regional and global levels. It is not to diminish the importance of the other dimensions – environmental, human, new challenges and threats, and military-political – which collectively contribute to peace, security and prosperity in Asia,” noted the Secretary General in his remarks.

Nazira Nurbayeva, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, welcomed the meeting participants, emphasizing that Kazakhstan's economy was open to interaction with foreign investors.

“As the CICA Chair, Kazakhstan encourages cooperation within the CICA Business Council and Business Forum, as well as proposals and ideas emanating from the Member States on the further strengthening CICA’s economic dimension.

I believe that the ideas and proposals for strengthening business activities within CICA will add value to the efforts of a broader internal community to overcome consequences of the geopolitical challenges for future global progress,”said Ms. Nurbayeva.

Raimbek Batalov, Chairman of the CICA Business Council Board, Chairman of the Atameken Presidium, set the stage for the discussions,

“We should think about developing mechanisms and strategies to ensure stable access of our countries to relevant resources in the context of food security, enhance the exchange of expertise and transfer of cutting-edge technologies in agriculture and food industry to improve production efficiency and strengthen food security in the region,” he underlined.

The Business Council meeting was followed by three thematic sessions, which discussed current national approaches to ensuring food security, promoting renewable energy and harnessing the potential of green finance. Special attention was paid to the role and contribution of entrepreneurs and enterprises in the promotion of these industries, as well as the establishment of specialized international cooperation of business circles. Members of the Business Council from Kazakhstan, China, Russia, Thailand, as well as invited experts from UNESCAP, UN Women, the Islamic Organization for Food Security and the Eurasian Development Bank shared their experience and expertise. The event was also attended by representatives of national structures such as the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the Renewable Energy Industry Club of the Federation of Thai Industries, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Republic of Tajikistan, JSC NC “Kazakh Invest” and others, as well as representatives of the private sector.

Concluding the session, the Business Council decided to hold the seventh plenary session in the 3-4 quarter of 2024, which is planned to be devoted to such SME aspects as artificial intelligence, empowerment of women in SMEs in the CICA region, prioritization of sustainable development of SMEs, digital trade, supply chains and logistics. Moreover, the Council approved the initiative of the CICA Secretary General to develop synergy between the two CICA bodies: the Business Council and the Think Tank Forum. It is expected that the Think Tank Forum will conduct research on national approaches and incentives used by CICA members for the development of SMEs, as well as a study on the development of the role of women in SMEs in the CICA region.

The Business Forum enjoyed presentations made on the investment climate and opportunities of Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Russia. The audience of the CICA countries was also offered several interesting projects in the fields of agro-industry, green energy and smart farming.

About the CICA Business Council

The CICA Business Council is an advisory body of CICA bringing together representatives of business organizations and public authorities of the CICA Member States. The Council is aimed at promoting development and enhancing economic cooperation in the small and medium entrepreneurship, establishing direct contacts and dialogue between the representatives of private sector and state bodies of the CICA Member States, as well as at advancing comprehensive mutually beneficial regional economic cooperation.

The CICA Business Forum is a yearly event that provides a space for dialogue, networking and the exchange of ideas among business leaders, policymakers and other CICA stakeholders. These forums often address economic issues, trade relations, investment opportunities and other relevant topics such as renewable energy, food security, green finance and SME growth.


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