World Monitor Magazine, Economy WM_April 2019 web version (2) - Page 11

DESTINATION europe candidly, there are still problematic areas that we need to work on. Challenges remain in the areas of tax administration, legal certainty and in the fight against corruption, as well as in the banking system and regarding the sustainable implementation of reforms. Germany and the EU want to support this with bilateral measures and joint programmes, particularly with the Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement between the EU and Kazakhstan, and also within the framework of the new EU Strategy for Central Asia. Kazakhstan intends to modernise its production capacities by introducing the Forced Industrial and Innovative Development Programme by 2020, diversifying the economy and by strengthening competitiveness through enhanced digitalisation (Industry 4.0). Germany is therefore a natural partner, and some close bilateral cooperation in the realm of agriculture industry is up and running but needs to be extended. In 2017, a pilot scheme run by the Frauenhofer Institut was introduced with the aim of implementing Industry 4.0 in Kazakh model companies. This scheme is now due to enter the second phase. Frauenhofer is a byword for excellent application-oriented research. Logistics are also relevant to both countries. The logistics service- providers present on site could play a central role. Kazakhstan has improved its connectivity as well as its relations to neighboring countries considerably in recent years. This will enable further markets to be opened up via Kazakhstan. For example, the volume of freight traffic between Kazakhstan and China increased by 26% in the first half of the year compared with the same period the previous year. In future, it is going to be important for German companies together with their Kazakh partners to participate in the extension and use of Eurasian land connections, most of which pass through Kazakhstan. In addition to the core areas of agriculture, infrastructure and supply industry, where German companies have been active for some time, there are now new and highly promising fields that were presented to a broader public at the EXPO 2017. Given the challenges of climate change, major importance attaches to topics such as the Green Economy and renewable energies. Modern technologies, such as those provided by our companies, play an important role in this context. German expertise is thus in demand here. Our ‘to-do’ list is long. If the framework conditions and the figures add up, we must have the courage to seize the opportunities on offer. supported by EUROBAK 9