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Yerkin Tatishev Declares Kazakhstan a Leader Among the World’s Emerging Economies

Businessman Yerkin Tatishev, founder and chairman of Kusto Group, says Kazakhstan’s growing commitment to diversification has made it a leader among the world’s emerging markets.

International businessman and entrepreneur, Yerkin Tatishev, offered an insider’s perspective on how efforts to modernize industries through the introduction of innovative technologies and practices are maximizing the economic potential of his native Kazakhstan.

Yerkin Tatishev, the chairman and founder of Kusto Group, believes that Kazakhstan’s ability to diversify will not only lead to increased stabilization but is key to creating a sustainable long-term economic future for the country. Under the initiative of a new class of business leaders, championed by Tatishev, on a mission to revolutionize the country’s economy, Kazakhstan has emerged a rising leader among the group of emerging economies worldwide.

According to his assessment, “Of the group of developing middle-income economies jostling for position, one country’s recent economic success stands out. Kazakhstan is differentiating itself from the rest through innovation, attracting international investors and heading towards the front of the pack. Global business leaders can’t fail to take notice.”

Realizing Kazakhstan’s economic potential

Kazakhstan’s economy languished for years under Soviet rule and struggled to overcome economic challenges that plagued the country during the Post-Soviet era. With a rich supply of natural resources, the extraction industries of coal, heavy metals, oil and natural gas have dominated economic activity for decades, accounting for half of government revenues and two-thirds of the country’s exports. The businessman believes that great opportunity lies in the agricultural sector and that after a modernization effort, it could rival the dominant natural resources sector in terms of employment, profits and exports. Economic diversification would also reduce the country’s dependence on the non-renewable resource sector. “However, such a transition cannot happen overnight,” Tatishev acknowledges. “It requires policymakers and business leaders to coordinate their work and develop an approach characterised by a broad range of high-growth, high-skilled and high-quality industries. I am pleased to see this collaborative approach starting to fall into place, particularly in areas that can benefit lower-income rural communities.”

Leading an agricultural revival

Tatishev’s vision for Kazakhstan centres on the adoption and application of modern innovative technologies to transform traditional sectors. Much of the country’s current agricultural production relies on grazing and small-scale farming with the primary aim of feeding the country’s population. Kazakhstan is the ninth largest country in the world straddling the Asian and European continents. The landlocked country was once home to a significant passage of the historical Silk Road trade route. The country’s vast wealth of arable land coupled with its unique geographic location makes Kazakhstan well placed to fulfil growing demands for high-quality agricultural products beyond its own borders to Russia, China and even the European market. The businessman asserts that if Kazakhstan were to realize its agricultural potential, it would not only become a leader in the region, but its agricultural exports could compete on the greater international stage.

Kusto Group: Raising national standards

Kusto Group, an international business organization operating in multiple sectors, has been recognized for its contribution to the agricultural revival sweeping across Kazakhstan. After gaining valuable experience building a successful agricultural operation in Ukraine over the last eight years, the company plans to apply what it has learned to its growing activities in Kazakhstan. For Kusto Group, its efforts to boost Kazakhstan’s agricultural sector are not just about increasing yields, the company has consistently sought to improve the quality of its offerings and has been dedicated to elevating the standards of the industry in general. “Today Kusto Group has identified the livestock industry as a key growth market for Kazakhstan,” said Tatishev. “We believe that natural, high-quality meat production is the type of export-based agriculture that can be a game-changer.”

Kusto Group has been operating KazBeef, a meat production company, in Kazakhstan for the last decade. They were the first to import world-class Angus and Hereford breeding cattle from the United States. The company ambitiously hopes to emulate the American model of success in animal husbandry in Kazakhstan. “But if this transition is to be sustainable, we know that innovation will be key,’ says Tatishev. “Not innovation for innovation’s sake, but with a clear purpose.” In operating KazBeef, Kusto Group has followed a holistic vision in vertically-integrating the operation which has allowed the company to introduce innovative technology and best practices at each step of the production process, from pasture to packaging.

Partnering with the world’s best

Tatishev and Kusto Group recognize the value of partnering with industry leaders as a way to share innovation and knowledge. The company has recently embarked on a series of investment ventures to bring new technology and best practices that will have lasting, transformative effects on the industry.

According to Tatishev, “Currently, with a meagre seven per cent of arable land properly irrigated and under investment in seed production and fertilisers, Kazakh agriculture suffers from a shortage of infrastructure and other components required for a modern, sustainable industry.”

Kusto Group’s recently signed a joint venture with the Nebraska-based Valmont Industries to build a new facility in Kazakhstan to manufacture modern irrigation systems which Tatishev says will “reshape farmland across the country – increasing yields, saving water and adding a new level of security and stability to farmer activity.”

In another effort to tackle systematic deficiencies, KazSeed, a division of Kusto Group, has established a partnership with the Minnesota-based Baumgartner Agricultural Science and Service (BASS) to introduce non-GMO seed production techniques to Kazakhstan providing KazBeef and the entire agro-economy with sustainable and nutritious grain in large quantities.

Kazakhstan is ripe for foreign investment

With efforts of businessmen like Tatishev, the government has undertaken steps to target industries for greater development through investment and legislative incentives. These measures have begun to attract international investors. Yerkin Tatishev’s ambitions for his native Kazakhstan could redefine the country’s economic landscape. “These are just some of the ‘nuts and bolts’ required to develop a long-term agriculture sector that will mark Kazakhstan as a leader of the pack amongst the world’s emerging economies and help Kazakhstan continue down its path towards greater economic diversification and broad-based wealth creation,” says the businessman. “For a country like Kazakhstan, with tremendous potential, it is essential to build partnerships across borders and not shy away from imitating successful innovations,” he says. “The world is watching Kazakhstan’s next steps.”

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