A new era of female-led trade relations between Sharjah and the Republic of Kazakhstan has been heralded by a recent 35-member trade delegation visit to the emirate led by the Republic’s Secretary of State of Kazakhstan, HE Gulshara Abdykalikova.

On the sidelines of HE Abdykalikova’s working visit to the UAE, the trade delegation was hosted by NAMA Women Advancement Establishment (NAMA) at an afternoon tea business networking event in Sharjah, focused on promoting bilateral business interests and strengthening the institution of female entrepreneurship.

The meeting built on the discussions had with several members of the Kazakh delegation in July last year at the Global Silk Road forum in Astana, where NAMA participated along with the Emirates Business Women Council (EBWC).

Among important attendees representing the 35-member Kazakh business delegation were Lazzat Ramazanova, Chairwoman of the Council of Business Women of NCE RK “Atameken”; Maura Murzamadiyeva, Chairman of the Committee of the Tourism industry of the Ministry of Culture and Sports of the Republic of Kazakhstan; Bagila Bisembayeva, Chairwoman of the Regional Council of Business Women Astana, Director of “Fortunata” LLP; and Mairash Kozzhanova, Assistant Manager of the Secretariat of the Secretary of State of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

On behalf of NAMA, Director Reem BinKaram, welcomed the delegation, saying:
“The distinguished economic and trade relations between the UAE and the Republic of Kazakhstan have seen unprecedented growth in recent years, especially with the establishment of the new Silk Road that reaches more than 60 nations worldwide.

Both nations have a sizeable opportunity to benefit from this through the increased representation of women on the global silk road. We have been invited to the next Global Silk Road Forum in September, and if we make it, we promise to bring in our businesswomen delegation to your beautiful country to take this.”

She added: “At a time when not just the UAE, but the region and the world are trying to lessen their oil dependency by diversifying their economies and boosting non-oil sectors, the case for increasing the role of SMEs is more compelling than ever.”

The importance of this sector in sustainable development and the need to intensify women’s roles in the various SME fields was further highlighted by the forum’s Kazakh attendees, who spoke about the strong role played by their government to support more female businesses in the SME sectors, and suggested sectors in which they seek to work together with the UAE’s businesswomen.

The NAMA Director shed light on the efforts of NAMA’s three affiliates – Sharjah Business Women Council, Irthi Contemporary Crafts Council, and NAMA’s Badiri Education and Development Academy – in playing an active role in building regional and international alliances with like-minded organisations to promote women’s roles in business and society.

Sharing the spectacular achievements of the Emirati craftswomen who are part of Irthi’s Bidwa Social Development Programme, at home and abroad, by generating new demand for their products in international markets, BinKaram has suggested the need for marrying the two nations’ efforts to promote their respective crafts, since Kazakhstan has a rich heritage of crafts and are working on preserving them.

Introducing the SBWC’s unique initiatives designed to empower businesswomen venturing on their entrepreneurial journeys, the Council’s Chairperson, HE Sheikha Hind bint Majid Al Qassimi, urged the delegation to leverage, “our strategic location, business-friendly environment and advantages offered to women-owned and led businesses to stimulate transfer of knowledge and boost progress in all fields of interest to both parties.”

Representing the UAE institutions at this meeting were, HE Farida Kamber Al Awadhi, Chairperson, Board of Directors, EBWC, with a group of the Council’s members; H.E. Raghda Taryam, Board Member of Sharjah Chamber and Emirates Business Women Council; NAMA board and team; as well as a selected group of businesswomen representing SBWC’s membership who explored future business collaborations.