Trade turnover between Kazakhstan and EU increased by 27%
The agreement on enhanced partnership and cooperation between Kazakhstan and the European Union (EU) has already brought relations to a new level, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan reported.
According to the Ministry, ratification of the Agreement by all EU member-states and its full entry into force will allow to expand and strengthen the interaction spectrum even more. At the same time, the European Union remains the largest trade, economic and investment partner of Kazakhstan, and bilateral trade, after two years of decline, demonstrates a positive trend and showed an increase of 27 per cent in the first seven months of 2017 compared to the same period last year, the Strategy 2050 NA reported.
On what benefits for entrepreneurs of the two sides is the EPCA, and also, in general, what prospects for bilateral relations are opened in this regard, was said at the 21st meeting of the Berlin Eurasian Club, held in Brussels.
European and Kazakhstani diplomats, experts, business and media representatives took part in the event, titled "Agreement on Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation between the Republic of Kazakhstan and the European Union: Achievements and Goals".
Luke Devin, Managing Director for Russia, Eastern Partnership and Central Asia and the OSCE of the European External Action Service (EEAS), noted important achievements in cooperation between Kazakhstan and the EU, stressing that Kazakhstan-European relations have never been at such a high level, as at the present moment.
The European diplomat, noting the key importance of Kazakhstan as a political and economic partner for the EU in Central Asia, pointed to the availability of a favorable investment climate in Kazakhstan, which allows European investors to work in the Kazakhstan market and increase their investments.
According to him, the European Union welcomes the wide-scale support for the development of the concept of the "green economy" in Kazakhstan, stimulated by the international exhibition EXPO-2017 in Astana.
L. Devin also praised the international activities of Kazakhstan in the maintenance of peace and security and declared the readiness of the European Union to cooperate more actively in the field of non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
At the same time, he stressed that Kazakhstan is fully committed to developing a conflict-free and prosperous region of Central Asia and noted that the example of a Republic that has built equally strong and mutually beneficial relations with its largest neighbors - Russia and China - as well as the European Union can serve as a model of an effective external policies for others.
L. Devin also noted the importance of continuing democratic reforms in Kazakhstan and the mutual interest of the parties in continuing the dialogue in the field of human rights and the development of civil society.
In his speech, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan Roman Vasilenko, in the light of the upcoming 25th anniversary of the relations between the Republic of Kazakhstan and the EU, stressed the existence of a constructive dialogue with the European Union on trade cooperation, energy, transport, environmental protection, customs cooperation, justice, human rights and international and regional security.
In his opinion, the EPCA, which became the first such agreement of the European Union with the countries of the region, serves as an additional impetus for the further expansion and development of multilateral cooperation on all the spectrums of these issues.
Having familiarized the audience with the current international rating of the country in the sphere of economy and attracting investments, the Kazakhstani diplomat stressed the dynamic development of a stable dialogue with the EU in the field of trade, energy, transport, environmental protection and security issues. R. Vasilenko separately emphasized on the process of ratifying the agreement, calling it "rapid". In just one and a half year from the date of signing the document, 16 of the 28 member-states of the European Union have already ratified the EPCA, which indicates the great interest of the EU in developing comprehensive cooperation with Kazakhstan, he noted.
In addition, the report drew attention to the positive dynamics of bilateral trade and the importance of intensifying cooperation in order to minimize trade barriers, for example, in the field of metrology and standardization, as well as to enhance cooperation between customs authorities. A separate block was devoted to cooperation on visa facilitation issues, which would give a powerful impetus to the expansion of economic and investment cooperation between Kazakhstan and the European Union.
F. Pfluger in his speech highly appreciated the qualitative level of preparation and successful holding of EXPO-2017, at which German and European companies were widely represented, calling the exhibition "the successful brand of Kazakhstan". The European political scientist pointed to the growing role of Kazakhstan and its leadership as an effective peacemaker, drawing attention to Astana's active mediation efforts in resolving the situation in the southeast of Ukraine and the Syrian issue. According to him, "Minsk agreements could rightly be called Astana agreements, taking into account the contribution of the country and its President to their achievement," and the Syrian talks in Astana give a powerful impetus to the difficult process of settling the multi-year conflict and give some hope for its cessation.
F. Pfluger emphasized the historical role of Kazakhstan, which voluntarily renounced nuclear weapons, in the global processes of disarmament and non-proliferation, and noted that the course of the "multi-vector foreign policy" and reforms of Kazakhstan gave its positive results: the country achieved economic growth and stability in the region and peace.
According to the general opinion of the BEC meeting participants, against the background of a number of foreign policy initiatives of the Republic of Kazakhstan, including non-permanent membership in the UN Security Council, provision of Astana with its platform for negotiations on Syria, joint projects of Kazakhstan with partners (EAEU, New Silk Road), holding an international exhibition in Astana -2017 on the topic of "Future Energy", a detailed discussion among politicians, experts and business circles on the meaningful aspects of the implementation of the EPCA and prospects for strengthening the bilateral of cooperation is timely and meaningful.
The meeting of the Berlin Eurasian Club, created in 2012 on the initiative of President of the Republic of Kazakhstan N.A. Nazarbayev as a unique dialogue platform between Kazakhstan and Europe was organized as part of the promotion of "economic diplomacy" by the Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan in the FRG in cooperation with the Eastern Committee of the German Economy for representatives of European Union's socio-political, expert and business circles.