18 March 2023, 14:30
Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Alikhan Smailov met with the Minister for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs and Development of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland James Cleverley, who arrived to Astana on his first official visit.
During the negotiations the parties touched upon a wide range of issues, including increase of mutual trade, attraction of investments, development of international transport corridors, business support, cooperation in the sphere of energy and education, as well as a number of others.
Prime Minister stressed that Great Britain is one of the key trade and investment partners of Kazakhstan on the European continent. Thus, last year the trade turnover between the countries has grown by almost 60%, exceeding $ 1.8 billion. In addition, the United Kingdom is one of the top 10 investors of Kazakhstan: since 2005 about $ 16.5 billion of direct investments have been invested in the country. The growth trend has continued in recent years.
"The Government of Kazakhstan is determined to further deepen cooperation with the UK in all directions. In this context an important step will be the adoption of the Kazakhstan-British Agreement on Strategic Partnership and Cooperation, the development of which is at the final stage," Alikhan Smailov said.
He added that within the expansion of mutual trade Kazakhstan is ready to increase exports to the UK on more than 100 commodity items worth about $ 800 million, while in the energy sector the implementation of joint projects on production of "green" hydrogen and in the logistics sector the further development of the Trans-Caspian international transport route are of interest.
At the same time, the Prime Minister spoke in detail about the work to improve the conditions for attracting investment and doing business in the Republic. In particular, he informed of the development of the new Tax Code, measures to reduce the administrative burden on businesses and the introduction of digitalization, as well as the benefits of the International Financial Center.
In turn, James Cleverley stressed that Kazakhstan is one of the most important trading partners of Britain in Central Asia, and indicated the readiness of the United Kingdom to strengthen cooperation in all mutually beneficial directions.
"Britain and Kazakhstan have an excellent relationship, it is quite strong and, in my opinion, has great growth potential. This gives us the opportunity to discuss what else we can do, what prospects there are for the future," James Cleverly said.
At the end of the meeting, in the presence of the Prime Minister of Kazakhstan, memorandums were signed on strategic partnership between Kazakhstan and the United Kingdom in the development of clean hydrogen and essential minerals.
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