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The 6th Plenary Session of the Kazakhstan Canada Business Council was hosted on the margins of PDAC on March 3,2024

05 Mar 2024 1:46 PM | Alex Grichine (Administrator)

March 3rd, Toronto, Canada

The 6th plenary session of the Kazakhstan Canada Business Council (KCBC) took place within the framework of the annual international Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) 2024 Convention. The Business Council is co-chaired on the Kazakhstani side by Mr. Meirzhan Yussupov, the Chairman of the Management Board of JSC NAC Kazatomprom, and on the Canadian side by Mr. Tim Gitzel, President and Chief Executive Officer of Cameco Corporation.

In preparation for the plenary session, three working groups’ meetings were held in January and February on the topics of the mining and metallurgical complex, agriculture, and education, with over 250 participants taking part the discussions. During these sessions, representatives of government structures and businesses from both countries discussed current issues, ways to solve them, priority areas of cooperation, and prospective projects for the development of mutual trade and investment attraction.

The plenary session was attended by more than 150 delegates representing Canadian and Kazakhstani business circles. Topics of discussion during the Business Council included energy security, plans to achieve carbon neutrality, environmental, social, and corporate governance, trade, investment attraction, education, and many others.

The Kazakhstani delegation was led by the Honourable Kanat Sharlapayev, Minister of Industry and Construction of the Republic of Kazakhstan, and the Canadian delegation by the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of International Development of Canada.

During the first panel discussion, the co-chairs of the Council, Mr. Tim Gitzel and Mr. Yussupov, discussed issues of mutual cooperation and the further development of the uranium industry, energy security, and environmental sustainability. Mr. Yussupov highlighted Kazatomprom's operations and its contribution to global energy security, while Mr. Gitzel focused on Cameco's leadership, safety, and reliability over 35 years, including its approach to ESG issues. Both leaders discussed their strategies for achieving net-zero emissions - Cameco, having signed the Net Zero Nuclear initiative and planning to reduce emissions by 30% by 2030, and Kazatomprom, aiming to contribute to Kazakhstan's achievement of carbon neutrality by 2060. The discussion, touching on corporate governance, investment potential, and the global transition to zero emissions, concluded with reflections on the future of their companies and further development of the KCBC.

The KCBC also featured working group reports presented by the Co-Chairs of each respective working group:

  • Mining – Mr. Yerlan Galiyev, "National Geological Survey" JSC, Chairman of the Board;
  • Education – Ms. Margaret Skok, Senior Fellow at Carleton University/NPSIA; Ambassador of Canada to Kazakhstan (Retd.)
  • Agriculture was presented by an WG co-organizer - Mr. Alibek Sagidulla, Advisor for Economic Cooperation, Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan to Canada

Speakers at the event also included representatives from JSC "NC "KazakhInvest", Export Development Canada, and the government of the province of Alberta.

A separate session was dedicated to the education sector, where the Vice Minister of Science and Higher Education of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Darkhan Akhmed-Zaki, presented Kazakhstan's plans to create an academic hub for higher education. The event concluded into a Networking Reception.

Over its existence, the Kazakhstan Canada Business Council has become an effective platform for strengthening the business relationship between Kazakhstan and Canada.

The co-chairs of the council expressed their gratitude to the Canada-Eurasia Chamber of Commerce (CECC) for organizing the event on the sidelines of PDAC Convention. The plenary session was supported by the Canadian Embassy to Kazakhstan and the Kazakhstani Embassy to Canada, as well as such companies and organizations as Lotz & Company, Teck Resources, SIMSA,