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Nebraska Welcomes Kazakhstan Prime Minister, Valmont Deal
Nebraska Ag Connection - 12/13/2019

Governor Pete Ricketts and Valmont Industries welcomed Prime Minister Askar Mamin of the Republic of Kazakhstan to Nebraska this week. The Governor and Prime Minister held a bilateral meeting to discuss matters of mutual interest, including agriculture and trade. They were joined by First Lady Susanne Shore, Valmont CEO Stephen Kaniewski, and Ambassador of the Republic of Kazakhstan to the U.S. Erzhan Kazykhanov.

"Kazakhstan occupies a strategic location at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, and 75 percent of its territory is suitable for agriculture," said Gov. Ricketts. "Given Nebraska's agricultural expertise, we have a clear opportunity to develop a mutually beneficial relationship with Kazakhstan. Congratulations to Valmont Industries on this partnership. The agreement with Kazakhstan showcases Nebraska's leadership in ag technology and the importance of building Nebraska's brand around the world."

The visit by the Prime Minister comes as Valmont Industries signs a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Kusto Group (Kazakhstan) detailing specific terms of their strategic partnership. The parties agreed to begin a project "aimed at the creation of farm networks on the transfer of innovative technologies in the sphere of irrigation, rational use of water resources, feed manufacturing, training of farmers and the increase of qualified personnel."

In addition to the MOU, Valmont, Global Beef (USA), and Kusto Group (Kazakhstan) signed an agreement in July 2019 to oversee the creation of a Joint Venture in Kazakhstan. The agreement is a roadmap toward the construction of a plant in Kazakhstan for the manufacture of Valley Irrigation (Valmont) pivots, with an annual production capacity of 1,000 linear and pivot irrigation machines. It is estimated Valley technologies will increase crop productivity and reduce agricultural costs in Kazakhstan by 50 percent.

Nebraska Department of Economic Development Director Anthony "Tony" Goins met with the Kazakh delegation and emphasized the significance of the partnership. "The growing relationship with Kazakhstan is an important one for Nebraskan agricultural expertise. Nebraska's leadership in this sphere is a value-add for Kazakhstan, as it builds sustainable agricultural practices," Goins said.

Ricketts has led trade missions to many countries, including members of the European Union, Japan, Vietnam, Canada, and Mexico to expand trade relationships and export opportunities for Nebraska's farm and ranch families. The Governor's Council for International Relations, which he established in 2017, focuses on increasing Nebraska exports and identifying new business opportunities in international markets.

The Nebraska Department of Economic Development assists Nebraska companies as they pursue international markets.

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