30th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Kazakhstan and EU defines intensity and vast coop agenda

Geopolitics Materials 24 January 2023 10:18
Astana, Kazakhstan KazInform
30th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Kazakhstan and EU defines intensity and vast coop agenda

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan Roman Vassilenko had a series of bilateral meetings with senior representatives of European Union institutions in Brussels today, Kazinform reports.

On the eve of the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Kazakhstan and the EU (2 February), the main goal of the meetings was to review the whole range of Kazakhstan-EU relations in light of the changing international situation and the implementation of agreements following the visit by President of the European Council Charles Michel to Astana in October 2022. This visit and meetings between President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev and President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen last year allowed updating the bilateral cooperation agenda and outlining concrete priority areas of enhancing the partnership in the field of economy, trade, transport, energy, «green transition» and digitalization, the Kazakh Foreign Ministry’s press service informs.

During the meetings, officials paid special attention to further steps for the effective and full implementation of the Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (EPCA) between Kazakhstan and the EU which covers 29 spheres of engagement. Moreover, the development of a Road Map to implement the recently signed Memorandum of Understanding on a strategic partnership on sustainable raw materials, batteries and renewable hydrogen value chains is in the focus of both sides.

Mr. Vassilenko held talks with high-ranking European officials, including Deputy Managing Director for Russia, Eastern Partnership, Central Asia and OSCE of the European External Action Service Luc Devigne and EU Special Representative for Human Rights Eamon Gilmore. He also had meetings with Member of the European Parliament and its Human Rights Subcommittee Nacho Sanchez Amor, as well as with Co-rapporteur on Kazakhstan of the European Parliament Andrius Kubilius. Mr. Vassilenko underlined the high dynamics of political dialogue, active development of cooperation in the fields of trade and investment, as well as engagement in the human rights dimension as factors determining the intensive nature of cooperation for the future.

The Kazakh diplomat thoroughly informed his counterparts about the progress in implementing the large-scale political and socio-economic reforms initiated by President Tokayev to build a «Just and Fair Kazakhstan». He also informed them about the early parliamentary elections of deputies of the Majilis of the Parliament and Maslikhats on March 19 this year that ten international organizations were invited to observe the election, including the OSCE.

A detailed exchange of views on relevant issues on the international agenda took place, including the situation in and around Ukraine, and the need to minimize its negative consequences for Kazakhstan’s economy.

The European side welcomed the rich bilateral and multilateral agenda and expressed its interest in further strengthening cooperation with Kazakhstan and the implementation of the EPCA.

The sides agreed on the importance of maintaining regular political dialogue for further consolidating cooperation in light of global instability.

The European Union is Kazakhstan’s main trade and investment partner. The EU accounts for about half of the country’s foreign trade and foreign investments.

Trade turnover in January - November 2022 compared to the same period of 2021 increased by 28.8 % and reached $36.4 billion (exports – $29.9 bn, imports - $6.5 bn).

In the first nine months of 2022, the inflow of foreign direct investment from the EU increased by 10 % compared to the same period of 2021 ($7.7 bn) and amounted to $8.5 bn.

Overall, there are more than 6,000 EU member states companies operating in Kazakhstan.