Government • 02 November, 2018

Kazakh FM, British envoys mull over cooperation prospects

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Meeting with the British ambassadors to the countries of Central Asia, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan Kairat Abdrakhmanov discussed new opportunities for the development of bilateral and multilateral cooperation, informs the Kazakh MFA's press service.

 

The Forum of Heads of the UK Diplomatic Missions and Leaders of the Foreign Office's Divisions in charge of relations with the region hosted by Astana is held on an annual basis, alternately in each of the five Central Asian countries.

At the meeting, the sides exchanged views on the state and prospects of the United Kingdom's relations with Kazakhstan and other countries of the region and confirmed the intention to strengthen cooperation in all fields of mutual interest. Particular attention was given to Kazakhstan's role in Central Asia as evidenced by the non-permanent membership of Kazakhstan in the UN Security Council, as well as the international and regional initiatives launched by President Nursultan Nazarbayev that were met with a generous response.

In this respect, Minister Abdrakhmanov drew the attention of the interlocutors to the speech by the Kazakh President at the recent Europe-Asia Meeting summit (ASEM) in Brussels and to the proposed steps to restore confidence and overcome differences between large countries. The economic processes in the region and the dynamics of foreign direct investment in Kazakhstan's economy kindled the interest of the British diplomats.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan also highlighted the active role of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in the international arena, the effective cooperation between the two countries within the framework of the UN Security Council. Regular high-level contacts and maintenance of a permanent political dialogue between Astana and London are instrumental in the development of interaction. For instance, President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev and British Prime Minister Theresa May held negotiations on the sidelines of the recent ASEM Summit in Brussels.

In the context of regional development, the Kazakh side underlined the crucial role of economic integration within the EAEU and the development of good-neighborly relations with Russia and China, the biggest partners of Kazakhstan and Central Asia. The diplomats also mentioned special prospects for the wide use of British technologies and expertise in the implementation of projects in the Central Asian countries as part of the Belt and Road Initiative and other investment and infrastructure programs. On the whole, the attendees emphasized the substantial potential for the intensification of investment, trade and economic cooperation.

The UK is one of Kazakhstan's top ten partners in terms of trade turnover (the turnover amounted to $1.28 billion in 2017 and $743.4 million in January-July 2018). The country is also among the six largest investors in Kazakhstan. Since 2005, British direct investment inflow has exceeded $12 billion. Over 600 UK-invested companies are operating in Kazakhstan.
 

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