Kazakhstan isn't the only eastern European energy producer that's drawing the attention of the province's oil and gas companies.
Russia and Ukraine are also on the agenda and the three will be the focus of the fifth annual Global Energy Matters conference being held in Calgary on June 6.
The event will see industry experts analyse the latest developments, current business climate, and oil and gas opportunities in the three countries.
"Companies that are already working in the areas, companies that are looking to go into those regions and companies that have done some work there in the past but now wish to find out what recent changes have taken place are the ones who should attend," says Magda Chowanski, regional director of the Canada Eurasia Russia Business Association (CERBA) in Calgary.
CERBA holds the conference to keep interested parties up to date on the commercial climate in the regions.
Hans Gjerdrum, director of international business development with Calgary-based Kudu Industries Inc., says the event allows the company to show its continued commitment to the regions and to network with people they already know or would like to know.
Kudu, a supplier of artificial lift systems for the oil industry, has been involved in Kazakhstan and Russia for the last 12 years and has a number of established clients in the two countries.
"These markets change. The situation changes on a regular basis so you have to stay updated and in contact," says Gjerdrum.
"Going into a different marketplace, you can't just jump on a plane, go there and expect to do business," he adds. "For example, the Russians like to deal with Russians, so you have to have some local representation."
Gjerdrum notes that attending the conference can also allow a company to learn from others. He says it's a good opportunity to learn about what works and what doesn't.
Both public and private officials, and companies from the foreign countries will be on hand.
"They are often telling you what you need to do to be successful selling to that (particular) company," says Gjerdrum. "I've always said belonging to an organization like this and taking advantage of the speakers - it costs the same as an economy ticket to Russia.”
The difference, he adds, is that the ticket only gets you there, it doesn't provide the help and guidance available at the show.
Chowanski says with the help of CERBA member feedback, the conferences were launched five years ago to present opportunities in Russia, Kazakhstan and Ukraine, and to show how Canadian companies can succeed in these markets.
CERBA, which also has chapters in Montreal, Toronto and Moscow, wanted a more complete snapshot of what was going on, from the local governments and businesses as well as the Canadian companies with experience in these regions, says Chowanski.
This year's conference is open to members and non-members of CERBA.
Web Watch: www.cerbanet.org