Senators John Hoeven and Kent Conrad and Congressman Rick Berg announced today that the U.S. Commercial Service office in Kazakhstan will remain open and continue helping North Dakota and U.S. companies grow their exports to Kazakhstan. The delegation has been working to keep open the office, which provides U.S. trade promotion assistance in one of North Dakota's largest foreign markets.
"Our North Dakota companies have good opportunities to market and sell their products to the people of Kazakhstan," said the delegation. "Kazakhstan is an important emerging market for North Dakota and U.S. goods, and we need to continue aggressively working to promote and support North Dakota companies in Kazakhstan. We're pleased that the U.S. Commercial Service will continue assisting our businesses as they work to break into and grow in the Kazakhstani market."
From 2005 to 2010, North Dakota companies exported more than $192 million in goods and services to Kazakhstan, with exports to Kazakhstan growing by 120 percent since 2000. Additionally, North Dakota has increased its overall exports by more than 400 percent in the same period.
Earlier this year, the Department of Commerce proposed closing the U.S Commercial Service office at the U.S Embassy in Almaty, Kazakhstan. The delegation pressed Kenneth Fairfax, U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Kazakhstan, to drop the proposal. They have also been working with the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S State Department to ensure that the U.S. maintains its presence in Kazakhstan to continue expanding North Dakota exports to the nation. The U.S. Commercial Service has agreed to continue its services with three employees in Kazakhstan.