Atkins wins in Kazakhstan amid UK charm offensive

3 July 2013

Several British firms have announced deals in Kazakhstan this week as UK Prime Minister David Cameron visited the oil-rich Central Asian country to build business links.

UK design and engineering consultancy Atkins made particularly strong headway by signing a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Kazakhstan’s sovereign wealth fund, Samruk-Kazyna, to cooperate on major infrastructure projects.

The agreement is for an extendable 12-month period, covering potential projects around the Kazakhstan capital, Astana, and Aktau, the country’s biggest seaport.

"This is a developing relationship and we will be assessing how we build on that in the future," Prof Dr Uwe Krueger, Atkins’ CEO said.

UK Prime Minister David Cameron was in Kazakhstan this week to promote British businesses there (Credit: Downing Street)

Kazakhstan ranks in the world’s top 10 fastest growing countries, according to the International Monetary Fund.

Other deals include an MOU between Dando Drilling International and the Kazakhstan government regarding a joint venture for the local production and assembly of mineral exploration, water well and geotechnical drilling rigs.

"Kazakhstan is emerging as the dominant economy in central Asia and offers many opportunities for British businesses small and large across a wide variety of sectors," UK trade and investment minister Lord Green said.

With a population of around 17 million, Kazakhstan needs to upgrade its infrastructure. It is the first former Soviet state to receive an investment grade credit rating in 2002.

According to the Asian Development Bank, the country should expect growth in the region of 5.3% in 2013.

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