Alikhan Smailov called on European investment community to expand participation in joint projects

Further steps to strengthen trade and economic relations between Kazakhstan and the European Union discussed Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Alikhan Smailov and Vice President of the European Commission Margaritis Schinas.

Within the framework of the meeting, held in Astana, the parties considered the issues of increasing trade turnover, attracting investment, strengthening cooperation in transport and logistics, facilitating visa regime, increasing industrial cooperation and a number of others. 

Head of the Government emphasized that Kazakhstan attaches special importance to strengthening mutually beneficial relations with the European Union. Today, a significant role in this is played by the Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement, as well as the new EU Strategy for Central Asia.

"We support the mutual attitude to further progressive development of Kazakhstan-European cooperation in the spirit of trust and respect," Alikhan Smailov said.

As Prime Minister noted, the EU is one of the largest trade and investment partners of Kazakhstan. It accounts for about 30% of foreign trade and about 40% of attracted investments. 

Thus, trade turnover for 11 months of last year increased by almost 5% and reached about $38 billion. In 2022, the volume of investments from the EU in Kazakhstan amounted to $12.5 billion, showing the maximum level for the last 10 years. 

"Today, there are almost 6,000 joint ventures operating in Kazakhstan, 130 of which joined in the last year alone. These indicators emphasize the stability and attractiveness of our economy for European partners. We urge the European investment community to expand participation in joint projects," Alikhan Smailov emphasized.

He also added that transit and transportation sphere is an important area of cooperation. Today about 85% of goods from China to Europe are transported through Kazakhstan. In particular, last year within the Trans-Caspian international transportation route the volume of cargo transshipment increased by 65%. In the medium term, the cargo flow here is planned to reach 10 million tons.

"To achieve this goal, road maps have been signed with Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey to eliminate bottlenecks along this route. Along with this, Kazakhstan is implementing a number of major projects to modernize railway and port infrastructure, build up rolling stock and merchant fleet. We are also synchronizing our information systems, where the shipper can see the location of his cargo in real time," Prime Minister said. 

For his part, Vice President of the European Commission noted that Kazakhstan is an important partner for the European Union.

"We know that you have great processes of modernization. On behalf of the European Union I would like to note the importance of reforms initiated by President Kasym-Jomart Tokayev, which make Kazakhstan a very significant player in the Central Asian region," Margaritis Schinas said.

He also emphasized the importance of the upcoming Investors' Forum on Sustainable Transport Links between Europe and Central Asia within the Global Gateway initiative, where Kazakhstan will be represented.

#Alikhan Smailov #The Prime Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan #International Cooperation #Investments #Logistics

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