The first edition of Busworld Central Asia will be held in Almaty, Kazakhstan, from 25 to 27 June 2019 in the Atakent International Exhibition Center. Almaty is the largest city in this vast country. Kazakhstan is the hub of other neighbouring “stan” countries such as Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan and the link between China and Europe via the ‘Silk Road’ connection.
Kazakhstan was formerly part of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and its public transport systems were closely modelled on those of Russia. The country relied heavily on Russia for buses and that continued for several years after the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991.
Kazakhstan is a huge country and has large reserves of oil and gas. The country is larger than Western Europe in territory and is land-locked. That creates a challenge in exporting oil and gas but demand is strong from countries like its neighbour, China.
Bus manufacturers from outside the former USSR have been making steady inroads to the Kazakh market. There is demand for low floor layouts and also alternative fuels like CNG. There is some local assembly of buses, but the potential to increase is quite considerable.
It is estimated that 50% of the population of around 18.5 million people live in urban centres. Alternative means of public transport are very limited, so that will stimulate demand for better and more frequent bus services.
There are banking, financial and legal systems in place to support the import of vehicles, components and services. It is estimated that more than $40 billion worth of foreign investment has been pumped into Kazakhstan in the oil, natural gas and mineral industries in the last fifteen years or so. These industries will also require transport, principally for employees.
At the exhibition, a vast range of buses and coaches will be presented by: Anadolu Isuzu, Arobus, Astana Motors (Hyundai), Autocapital (Mercedes-Benz), Belkommunmash, , JV MAN Auto, Kamaz Trading Company, Otokar, Saktagan, Samauto and Saryarka Avto Prom (Ankai Buses).