Syrian firm seeks M'sian expertise to develop tourism project in Kazakhstan

KUALA LUMPUR: The Syrian International Business Centre (SIBC) Group is scouting for Malaysian companies to jointly develop a US$5.6 billion (RM18.7 billion) tourism project -- Kinderli Beach Development -- at the Caspian Sea in Kazakhstan.

Executive Chairman Dr Eng Bashar S.S. Al-Atassi said the company was getting a big project in Kazakhstan.

"The project is currently going on by the working title of ‘Kinderli Beach Resort’. Its location at Kinderli Bay in south-west of Kazakhstan's Mangistau province near the Turkmenistan border.

"The project costs around US$5.6 billion. We've already signed the project agreement with the Kazakhstan government. The project is big and huge, we are inviting Malaysian companies to join us in the project," he told Bernama.

SIBC Group has a local subsidiary, SIBC Corp Sdn Bhd, in Malaysia. SIBC Group incorporated in Syria is a pioneer and world leader in land development, infrastructure, information technology, oil and gas and human resource development.

Eng Bashar said the five-year development covers the 1,700ha resort area and another 350ha to build a new airport, 20km east of Kinderli Resort.

"We hope to make Kinderli Beach the first sustainable holiday destination of the 21st century. We plan to build five, four and three-star hotels for different groups of people.

"We will also build 4,000 units of villa, cottages and flats for people who want to buy the units," he said.

He said a 10ha site has been set aside to build a water desalination plant adjacent to the beach.

Eng Bashar said: "We will start with the airport this year and the infrastructure together with the Kazakhstan government."

Under Kazakhstan Law, the 100m land stripe between the Caspian Sea and the resort area is not for sale but the government has agreed to lease out this beach for 49 years to SIBC for light beach development investments like kiosks, coffeeshops and beach equipment.

"We are going to build Family Paradise Beach (11ha), Marina Paradise Beach (39ha), Fun Paradise Beach (9ha) and Gulfing Paradise Beach (14ha), he said.

Among other developments are building internal infrastrutures like roads, parking bays, bus terminal, waste water treatment and electric power plants with a capacity to supply 40 to 80MW of electricity.

Eng Bashar said a 27-hole golf course, park, sports arenas, theme parks like a silk road park, aqua park, adventure and amusement park will also be built.

"We also plan to build an agriculture park for the resort's food production and for export," he said.

Touted to be one of the world's most important holiday resort, Eng Bashar said: "This is the first such project in Kazakhstan and Caspian Sea."

Asked why SIBC was counting on Malaysian expertise, he said: "One of the main reasons to scout for Malaysian companies is that it is probably the only third-world country that has developed infrastructures overseas.

"They have the experience and have been successful implementing infrastructure projects in third-world countries.

"Now we have gotten permission to initiate this project. We would like to tap the experience of Malaysian companies in engineering and construction. If we were to go to western countries, they will charge us the sky," he said.

On SIBC Corp, Eng Bashar said the subsidiary was set up in Malaysia five years ago.

"I have friends here and I know there are many experienced Malaysian companies here. Many companies also have projects in Syria like the expansion of the international airport in Damascus and in the United Arab Emirates.

“I see that the Malaysians work very hard. They have a lot of experience and can get good price when bidding for projects.

"We've several companies wanting to join us but we are looking for more to partner us," he added. -- Bernama

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