Special thanks to member Hugh Hallman for supporting the visit by Kazakhstan Ambassador Erzhan Kazykhanov to metro Phoenix. Hugh has a long history of working in Kazakhstan. Also a thank you to Rep. Tony Rivero for his leadership in bringing international leaders to Arizona. We'll be working with Rep. Rivero in 2019 in bringing diplomats to the region for business discussions.
There were a number of good meetings in the area capped off by a dinner. That evening Hugh hosted leaders from Global Chamber. Guests included member City of Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane and Councilwoman Suzanne Klapp. We're pleased to support the international initiatives to bring more foreign visitors to the region to discuss business.
Kazakhstan is the 53rd largest export economy in the world and the 58th most complex economy according to the Economic Complexity Index (ECI). In 2017, Kazakhstan exported $44.1B and imported $30.5B worth of goods, resulting in a positive trade balance of $13.6B. In 2017 the GDP of Kazakhstan was $162B and its GDP per capita was $26.4k.
Kazakhstan is the largest economy in Central Asia both in absolute terms and per capita. The country possesses oil reserves as well as minerals and metals... with a growing technology sector. It also has considerable agricultural strength with livestock and grain production. The mountains in the south are important for apples and walnuts. Kazakhstan's industrial sector rests on the extraction and processing of natural resources.
Thanks also to our attendees... including Mike Patterson of Spencer Fane along with Tatiana Shcherbinina of Ruspan Communications with the Ambassador and our headquarters associate Andy Cho... shown with the Ambassador.
It was fascinating to hear about what's happening in Kazakhstan including their complex relationship with Russia and China. We learned that China's President Ji has met with the leader of Kazakhstan 7 times this year. How's that for strategic importance?
The member's prize to the one traveling the furthers to attend... Kimberly Millier, who drove up from Mexico! Dedication!
Our attendees... I think I got them all...
1) Hugh Hallman - Berry Riddell and Hallman & Affiliates P.C.
2) Mike Langley - Global Chamber Phoenix
3) Susan Shultz - The Board Institute
4) Bill Papazian - Lightstone Solutions
5) Vartenin Papazian - Lightstone Solutions
6) Suzanne Klapp - City of Scottsdale
7) Kimberly Millier - JKM Business Consultant and Grand Canyon University
8) Leighton Weston - Creditsafe
9) Tatiana Shcherbinina - Ruspan Communications
10) Vinayak Gupta - Zero Mass Water
11) Karen Bottesch - Bank of America
12) Marc Pierce - Lee & Associates
13) Jovan Israel - Creditsafe
14) Dana Pack - Fogco
15) Michael Gossie - AZ Big Media
16) Andy Seung Hyun Cho - Global Chamber
17) Mel Sanderson - Freeport McMoRan
18) Joel Barthelemy - GlobalMed (earlier session)
19) Doug Bruhnke - Global Chamber