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Astana, Kazakhstan • 16 January, 2024 | 11:29

Kazakh PM Urges European Investors to Expand Cooperation in Joint Projects

Currently, there are almost six thousand joint Kazakh-European businesses active in the country

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On January 15, Prime Minister Alikhan Smailov and Vice-President of the European Commission Margaritis Schinas met in Astana to discuss the development of trade turnover, investments, cooperation in transport and logistics, easing the visa regime, increasing industrial cooperation, as well as several other issues, QazMonitor reports citing

The Prime Minister emphasized that Kazakhstan attaches special importance to strengthening mutually beneficial relations with the European Union, as it’s one of the country’s largest trade and investment partners, accounting for about 30% of foreign trade and approximately 40% of attracted investments.

In the eleven months of 2023, trade turnover increased by almost 5%, reaching about $38 billion. Furthermore, in 2022, the volume of investment from the EU in Kazakhstan amounted to $12.5 billion, representing the highest level over the past ten years. In this context, Smailov stressed the crucial role of the Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement and the new EU Strategy on Central Asia.

Today, almost six thousand joint ventures are operating in Kazakhstan, 130 of which opened in the last year alone. These indicators emphasize the sustainability and attractiveness of our economy for European partners. We urge the European investment community to expand participation in joint projects.

Alikhan Smailov, Prime Minister

The Prime Minister highlighted transit and transportation as important areas of cooperation, as about 85% of goods from China to Europe are transported through Kazakhstan. In 2023, the volume of cargo transshipment through the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route (TITR) increased by 65%. In the medium term, the cargo flow through TITR will reach 10 million tons.

"To achieve this goal, roadmaps have been signed with Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Turkey to eliminate bottlenecks along this route. Alongside this, Kazakhstan is implementing several major projects to modernize [domestic] railway and port infrastructure and to build up rolling stock and the merchant fleet. We are also synchronizing our information systems, enabling the shipper to see the location of their cargo in real-time," added Smailov.

In response, Schinas noted that Kazakhstan is an important partner of the European Union and outlined the importance of the upcoming Global Gateway Transport Investors Forum scheduled for January 29-30 in Brussels, and aiming to address transport links between Europe and Central Asia.

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