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WASHINGTON, July 20, 2006—Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns today announced plans for his travel to Astana and Almaty, Kazakhstan, July 23–28, to lead a U.S. trade and investment mission and meet with top government officials.

"Kazakhstan is a leader in Central Asia with the region's largest economy," said Johanns. "The United States is already the largest investor in the Kazakhstani economy, and we expect this trade and investment mission to strengthen bonds between our two countries and open new opportunities for U.S. businesses. I'm pleased that there are 18 U.S. companies and agriculture associations that will be participating."

In Astana, the capital, Johanns will have meetings with Prime Minister Daniyal Akhmetov, Minister of Agriculture Akhmedzhan Yesimov, Minister of Trade and Industry Vladimir Shkolnick, and regional officials. Johanns will then travel to Almaty on July 26 for further meetings with governmental and business officials, and to tour an agricultural production facility.

The goal of the mission is to promote two-way trade and investment between the United States and Kazakhstan. The 18 participating U.S. companies and associations are interested in selling and buying agricultural products from Kazakhstan, the largest economy in Central Asia, and in identifying investment partners and opportunities.

In both cities, mission participants will meet with agribusiness and government officials, and have the opportunity to form partnerships with local entrepreneurs. They will also visit the Rodina dairy, cattle and grain farm near Astana, and the Plem-Zavod Agricultural Production Facility for dairy, livestock and grain in Almaty.

Private sector U.S. trade and investment mission participants include: ABS Global, Agribusiness Management Company, Amity Technology, Case New Holland, Dow AgroSciences, FOODPRO International, Inc., FoodSource, Inc., Globex International, Intervision Foods, John Deere, Midamar Corporation, National Meat Association, Sweetwater International, Inc., U.S.–Kazakhstan Business Association, U.S. Rice Producers Association, Valmont Irrigation, Inc., World Wide Sires, Ltd. and The Wornick Company.


USDA Release No. 0258.06
FAS PR 0086-06

USDA Contact: Ed Loyd (202) 720-4623
FAS Contact: Maureen Quinn (202) 720-7115

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