KAZAKHSTAN, EUROPEAN UNION EXPAND COOPERATION
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan, Mukhtar Tleuberdi, took part in the 17th meeting of the Kazakhstan�European Union Cooperation Council, held in Brussels (Belgium). The European side was represented by Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of Croatia, Gordan Grlic Radman. Croatia took over the presidency of the European Union, namely the Council of the European Union, in the first half of 2020.
On the same day, the EU Council decided to complete the ratification of the EU-Kazakhstan Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (EPCA), which will enter into force in March 2020.
The main focus of the Cooperation Council was focused on discussing the political, trade and economic prospects of cooperation between Kazakhstan and the EU. The parties also exchanged views on the current situation in the world.
The sides discussed ways and joint efforts to implement the new EU strategies for Central Asia and the interconnectedness of Europe and Asia.
The representatives of the EU Council expressed their readiness for substantive work with Kazakhstan to implement the provisions of the Agreement in 29 promising areas of cooperation, including issues on international and regional security, trade, investment, infrastructure development, as well as innovation, culture, sport and tourism.
The parties admitted that the expansion of trade, economic and investment cooperation is considered as a priority area of cooperation. A special interest was confirmed in deepening a mutually beneficial partnership in energy, transport, environment, education and science spheres.
During the negotiations, the parties discussed the preparation for the visit of President of Kazakhstan, K. Tokayev, to Brussels, planned for the current year, and also agreed on the schedule for the upcoming events this year through the cooperation structures Kazakhstan – EU and EU – Central Asia.
At the end of the meeting of the Cooperation Council, the Foreign Minister of Kazakhstan held a press conference for European media.
Also on the sidelines of the 17th meeting of the Kazakhstan�European Union Cooperation Council, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan, Mukhtar Tleuberdi, met with Vice President of the European Commission – EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell.
The Minister met with a group of deputies of the European Parliament including members of the Kazakhstan-EU Friendship Group and the Delegation of the European Parliament for Central Asia and Mongolia, as well.
The deputies of the European Parliament specified the potential of new democratic reforms in Kazakhstan, initiated by President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev. The deputies welcomed the decision of the President of Kazakhstan to accede to the Second Optional Protocol of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, aimed at abolishing the death penalty in the country, as well as initiatives to draft bills on peaceful assemblies, decriminalization of defamation, lower the threshold for creating political parties, etc.
The European Union is a key trade and investment partner of Kazakhstan, which accounts for about half of the foreign trade and investment in the economy of our country.
Kazakhstan’s foreign trade turnover with the EU countries for January-November 2019 amounted to $ 28.7 billion (exports – $ 22.7 billion, imports – $ 6 billion). In 2018, trade amounted to $ 37.7 billion (export – $ 31 billion, import – $ 6.7 billion), in 2017 – $ 30 billion, in 2016 – $ 24, 1 billion.
Foreign direct investment (FDI) in the first half of 2019 was attracted $ 5.4 billion. FDI in 2018 amounted to $ 11.6 billion.
Kazakhstan became the first country in the Central Asian region to sign the Agreement on Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation with the EU in 2015.
Source: Kazakhtan 2050