Setting off for a month-long stay in Germany during the Ramadan is a special challenge for many entrepreneurs from Kazakhstan. With its many company visits the programme is highly structured, and getting through the daily routine without a snack in between can be difficult too. That is what the MP participants from Kazakhstan experienced who completed their training in June 2016. But it was another aspect that was truly interesting: Many of the participants were on a mission to obtain German expertise and equipment in the field of pig breeding. This corresponds to the “master plan” of the Kazakh Ministry for Agriculture, which intends to expand this industry so that by the year 2020 it will be possible to export pork from Kazakhstan.
Against this background of constructive tension, the one-month programme for the Kazakh entrepreneurs moved between training sessions and company visits. Contacts to companies in Kazakhstan are highly prized in Germany: oil refining, the processing and disposal of petrochemical and construction waste products, medical tourism, and IT services in the Kazakh market were all perceived as especially promising by the German companies that were visited. And of course pig breeding as well! The German company WEDA Dammann & Westerkamp GmbH was able to make Danar Raissov, the protagonist in the growing Kazakh pig breeding industry and head of AIC Bavaria Products LLP, an immediate offer for equipping a pig farm that has already been meticulously planned. And a major German breeder offered him a group of pigs for breeding purposes, which according to Raissov’s intentions will constitute the foundation for the implementation of the “master plan” of Kazakh pig breeding.
Nevertheless, none of this contradicted the standards of the German economy in high tech and modern human resources policies, which the Kazakh entrepreneurs observed in abundance. Zhanara Zhukenova, the vice CEO of a Kazakh tourism service provider, describes her impressions after visiting Volkswagen Sachsen GmbH as follows: “The visit to Volkswagen was especially impressive. It was almost futuristic: robots maximally optimizing human working strength, nearly sterile conditions in production, friendly staff. Cleanliness and hygiene are emphasized through the use of white working clothes. But despite all of the robots and optimized production processes, it is readily apparent that the employees are the most valuable part of the company. As we have seen, there are a number of resources available to them, such as childcare facilities or workplaces designed to accommodate those with handicaps. That motivates staff and thus allows them to identify with the company and its products.”
ARGE Consortium of New German States, Dresden