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  • SBF welcomes Kazakhstan’s visa-free regime for Singapore citizens

SBF welcomes Kazakhstan’s visa-free regime for Singapore citizens

  • Greater ease for Singapore companies to explore business opportunities in the emerging economy.

     

16 July 2015 [Singapore]  The Singapore Business Federation (SBF) is pleased to note that from 16 July 2015, Singapore citizens holding valid diplomatic, official and national passports can enter, exit and transit through the territory of Kazakhstan on multiple occasions without a visa for up to 15 calendar days. This visa-free regime will be valid for Singapore citizens till 31 December 2017. 

The Federation first mooted the idea of the visa-free regime to the Embassy of Kazakhstan in Singapore in 2013 and has since progressively intensified its efforts with key Kazakh officials and business leaders. According to the Embassy of Kazakhstan in Singapore, over 650 business visas were submitted to the Embassy in 2014. The removal of the paperwork necessary for the visa application will greatly facilitate business ventures into Kazakhstan for the Singapore business community.

H.E. Yerlan Baudarbek-Kozhatayev, Ambassador of Kazakhstan to Singapore, said “The purpose of this visa-free regime is to stimulate business activity as well as to boost the travel exchange between Kazakhstan and Singapore. As our country is introducing new preferences and incentives for investors and hosting numerous international events like EXPO-2017 and Winter Universiade 2017, there are more opportunities for Singaporeans to visit Kazakhstan.” 

The ninth largest country in the world, Kazakhstan is located right in the heart of Eurasia and major overland routes connect the Asia Pacific, Middle East and Europe. It is one of the best performing economies in the CIS region, with a GDP per capita of USD12,496 (as of 1 January 2015)[1].

In 2014, overall trade between Kazakhstan and Singapore registered approximately over S$55 million[2], representing a growth of 160% over the past decade. Only two countries in the Central Asia region, including Kazakhstan, currently do not require visas for Singapore passport holders.   

Mr Ho Meng Kit, CEO of SBF said “This is an opportune time for Singapore companies to actively look at the business opportunities in Kazakhstan. SBF led two business missions to Kazakhstan this year and in 2014 as a result of the interest expressed by the Singapore business community. SBF is keen to step up our efforts to promote stronger bilateral economic and business ties with Kazakhstan. We hope that the Kazakh government will consider a visa-free regime on a permanent basis.”

Mr Ken Wong, CEO of Kenetics Innovations and one of the mission participants for the SBF Business Mission to Kazakhstan in 2015, said “We are pleased that the Kazakhstan government is extending the visa-free regime to Singapore passport holders. As the fastest growing economy in Central Asia and with the pipeline of international events that it plans to host, it presents good opportunities for Singapore companies to share their expertise and experiences. Kazakhstan’s visa-free regime will definitely make it easier for my engineers and technical experts to travel to the country on a more regular basis. I am confident that it will further boost our activities in Kazakhstan.”

 


[1] Figure from Embassy of Kazakhstan in Singapore

[2] Figure from International Enterprise Singapore

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