On November 1, a Kazakh-French business forum was held in Astana, which took place as part of the state visit of the President of the French Republic Emmanuel Macron to the Republic of Kazakhstan.

The French delegation included representatives of government bodies and business circles, including the Minister-Delegate for European and Foreign Affairs Olivier Bescht, the Minister-Delegate for Industry Roland Lecure and the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the French Republic to the Republic of Kazakhstan Didier Canesse.

The Kazakh delegation included First Deputy Prime Minister Roman Sklyar, Deputy Prime Minister Serik Zhumangarin, Minister of Energy of the Republic of Kazakhstan Almasadam Satkaliev and Minister of Transport of the Republic of Kazakhstan Marat Karabaev, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Kazakhstan to the French Republic Gulsara Arystankulova and other representatives of public, quasi-public and private sectors.

French-Kazakh relations began immediately after the declaration of independence of our country. Since the first years of cooperation, the Kazakh-French political dialogue has acquired a fairly regular character. And in political terms, Kazakhstan and France have reached a fairly high level of mutual understanding and adhere to similar positions and assessments. France is one of the most important trade, economic and political partners, as well as one of the five largest investors in Kazakhstan.

The business forum program provides for business meetings of Kazakh companies with French colleagues in order to attract potential investors and expand joint business partnerships.

As part of the business forum, a number of round tables were organized, one of which was held on the topic “Healthcare and global trends in the pharmaceutical industry.” The round table was moderated by the head of the Single Distributor Erkhat Iskaliev, co-moderated by the General Delegate of the French Healthcare Association “French Healthcare” Joanna Lerfel.

Currently, France is one of the world's leading pharmaceutical market leaders. This country’s experience in mastering advanced biotechnologies and innovative solutions in the field of global pharmaceutical trends is always interesting and relevant.

During the dialogue, the parties noted the high level of mutual trust and strategic partnership between Kazakhstan and France and considered ways to expand business relations between the two countries.

A separate topic for discussion was healthcare and global trends in the pharmaceutical industry. During the bilateral meeting, the parties discussed issues of mutually beneficial strategic partnership, the possibility of implementing joint projects in the pharmaceutical industry, as well as the economic potential of Kazakhstan.


The round table was held in two sessions, which covered issues such as access to healthcare, quality care and capacity building in the regions, needs for equipment and medicines, opportunities in the pharmaceutical sector and the production of medical equipment, their trends and opportunities.

The head of state instructed to intensify cooperation with global pharmaceutical corporations, attract investors, ensure the transfer of technologies and the latest developments, and also increase the share of domestically produced medicines and medical products to 50% already in 2025.

In fulfilling this order, the Single Distributor plays an important role. Erkhat Iskaliev spoke about this during his presentation. He presented 10 steps to implement the President’s instructions, starting from the audit and diagnosis of the current portfolio of long-term contracts, ending with increasing the export potential of domestic producers.

An important area in the activities of the Single Distributor is attracting investments. Over the past 2 years, a number of projects with BigPharma for the production of innovative drugs with the possibility of export have been worked through to practical implementation. The Ministry has already concluded framework cooperation agreements with global pharmaceutical companies - F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd., Novo Nordisk, AstraZeneca UK LTD., Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson and Bayer.

Большая работа по привлечению инвестиций проведена и в направлении Азиатских стран, таких как Китайская Народная Республика и Южная Корея. Так, крупнейшими корейскими компаниями (Samsung, Genoray, JW Holdings, BioNet, DRTECH, SinoVision), были подписаны 6 соглашений на локализацию и трансферт технологий по производству в Казахстане медицинской техники и сегодня уже начата практическая реализация этих проектов.

Планируется подписание соглашений с китайской компанией Mindray на локализацию производства медицинской техники, с компаниями Sinovac и Sinopharm по трансферу технологий производства лекарств в Казахстане. По нашей инициативе подписан Меморандум о сотрудничестве между Китайской торговой палатой по импорту и экспорту лекарственных препаратов и товаров медицинского назначения.

Переговоры проводились и с зарубежными производителями медицинской техники по вопросам локализации производства и КЖЦ: Philips, Canon, GE Healthcare, Mindray, Lоwenstein, Roche Diagnostic с использованием механизмов долгосрочных договоров, офтейк контрактов, лизинговых механизмов и КЖЦ. По итогам этой работы в Нью-Йорке в конце сентября подписано соглашение об инвестициях GE Healthcare с АО «Казах Инвест».

В рамках Комплексного плана по развитию фармацевтической промышленности до 2025 Единым дистрибьютором инициировано создание в стране медико-фармацевтических кластеров. Соответствующий приказ МЗ РК о создании кластеров в Астане, Актобе и Шымкенте уже вступил в силу и ведется работа по разработке и утверждению дорожных карт.

Much work has been done to attract investment in Asian countries, such as the People's Republic of China and South Korea. Thus, the largest Korean companies (Samsung, Genoray, JW Holdings, BioNet, DRTECH, SinoVision) signed 6 agreements on the localization and transfer of technologies for the production of medical equipment in Kazakhstan, and today the practical implementation of these projects has already begun.

It is planned to sign agreements with the Chinese company Mindray on the localization of the production of medical equipment, and with the companies Sinovac and Sinopharm on the transfer of drug production technologies in Kazakhstan. On our initiative, a Memorandum of Cooperation was signed between the Chinese Chamber of Commerce for the import and export of medicines and medical supplies.

Negotiations were also held with foreign manufacturers of medical equipment on issues of localization of production and life cycle: Philips, Canon, GE Healthcare, Mindray, Lowenstein, Roche Diagnostic using the mechanisms of long-term contracts, offtake contracts, leasing mechanisms and life cycle. As a result of this work, an investment agreement between GE Healthcare and Kazakh Invest JSC was signed in New York at the end of September.

As part of the Comprehensive Plan for the Development of the Pharmaceutical Industry until 2025, the Single Distributor initiated the creation of medical and pharmaceutical clusters in the country. The corresponding order of the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Kazakhstan on the creation of clusters in Astana, Aktobe and Shymkent has already entered into force and work is underway to develop and approve road maps.

In addition, speaking of investments, a guide for potential investors – Investment Guide Book, developed jointly with Kazakh Invest, was presented to the guests’ attention.

It is worth noting that, given all the work that is being done in the country, there is an increasing interest of French companies in the pharmaceutical market of Kazakhstan. Thus, last month, at the Single Distributor site, a meeting was held with delegations of experts in the healthcare sector of the French Development Agency (AFD).

Then, as a result of the negotiations, an agreement was reached to intensify cooperation in the field of healthcare, including attracting investments in the national healthcare system, localizing the production of medicines and medical products, modernizing laboratory services; telemedicine and digital health, as well as the construction of a modern clinic in Almaty.

Summing up the discussion at the round table, the head of the Single Distributor, Erkhat Iskaliev, made a proposal to create a register of healthcare projects within the framework of cooperation with France.

As part of the business forum program, in addition to round tables, a plenary session and a question-and-answer session were held. The key moments of the event were the signing ceremony of bilateral documents and the holding of B2B and G2B meetings.

In conclusion, the parties expressed gratitude for the constructive dialogue and expressed their readiness to continue cooperation and expand the partnership between the countries. Today's forum will definitely give impetus to the further promising development of the industry in Kazakhstan.

The French side, in turn, noted that it strives to further strengthen friendly ties, cooperation and trust that unite it with Kazakhstan. Our countries, strategic partners for several decades, are equally committed to the fundamental principles of the UN Charter and international order.

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