Kazakhstan-EU cooperation

Kazakhstan is the only country in Central Asia that signed an agreement on an enhanced partnership with the European Union. During the 16th meeting of the Kazakhstan-EU Cooperation Council in Brussels Kazakh Foreign Minister Kairat Abdrakhmanov proposed to develop a roadmap in order to implement this agreement. Kazakhstan and 21 EU countries ratified the agreement. The treaty was approved by the European Parliament. Over the past 25 years, the European Union has become Kazakhstan’s largest trade and investment partner. The EU accounts for half of the external trade turnover and foreign capital attracted to the Kazakh economy.

KAIRAT ABDRAKHMANOV, KAZAKH FOREIGN MINISTER:

 - Plans to modernize our political system and economy based on Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev’s initiative increased the great interest from the Europeans. Therefore, the European colleagues pay attention to a thesis of the President’s annual address to the people of Kazakhstan.

YEKATERINA ZAKHARIYEVA, BULGARIAN FOREIGN MINISTER:

 - I want to use this opportunity to congratulate us, actually European Union and Kazakhstan, for 25th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations that are fruitful. Welcome the excellent relation between the EU and Kazakhstan of implementation of priorities. Our mutual trade infuses appreciation for Kazakhstan’s active support to the implementation of the European Union’s strategy for central Asia.

During the meeting, Kairat Abdrakhmanov and head of the EU diplomacy, Federica Mogherini discussed international and regional topics, particularly, the situation in Afghanistan and further strengthening of cooperation between the EU and Central Asia. Moreover, in the interview with Neven Mimica, the European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, the Kazakh official spoke about updating the EU Strategy for Central Asia. 

KAIRAT ABDRAKHMANOV, KAZAKH FOREIGN MINISTER:

- We discussed the development of private entrepreneurship, small and medium sized business and topics related to the digital economy. In addition, we spoke about the need to pay special attention to environmental protection and educational programs designed for young people in Central Asia.

Last year, the trade turnover between Kazakhstan and the EU countries amounted to nearly US$30 billion. However, development of trade and tourism is impossible without free movement of people. As a result of the meeting of the Kazakhstan-EU Cooperation Council, the parties announced that negotiations on facilitating entry visas for citizens of Kazakhstan will begin this year.