Kazakhstan-European Union: 25 years of diplomatic relations
Kazakhstan and the European Union (EU) continue strengthening cooperation in all spheres. The agreement on enhanced partnership and cooperation between Kazakhstan and the European Union countries was transferred for further ratification to the EU executive body, the Council of the European Union. The European Parliament has already supported the agreement at the session in Strasbourg last week. The Agreement will come into force after the approval in the EU Council and in the remaining 10 EU countries, including the UK.
IVETA GRIGULE, HEAD OF EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT DELEGATION TO CENTRAL ASIA:
- Kazakhstan is the only country in Central Asia that has concluded a Treaty with the European Union. The European Union very much appreciates Kazakhstan as a constructive, reliable, loyal and a wise partner, not only in the Central Asian region, but also in the global sense.
Expansion of cooperation will affect 29 different spheres. The EU is already the largest trading partner of Kazakhstan. More than a third of Kazakhstan’s foreign trade accounts for the EU. Kazakhstan exports oil, gas, chemical products, and food products to European countries. The European Union exports transport and medical equipment, chemical products, pharmaceuticals and furniture to Kazakhstan. The EU is also the largest foreign investor; more than half of direct foreign investments in the republic come from the EU. Representatives of business circles of European countries, including the Netherlands, highly appraise favorable business climate of Kazakhstan and its development strategy.
HENK NIBUR, HEAD OF KAZAKHSTAN-NETHERLANDS BUSINESS COUNCIL:
- I have been working in Kazakhstan for over 20 years now, and where we saw, until five years ago, it was mainly oil and gas oriented cooperation we can now see your rapid diversification. So, it’s agriculture, renewable energy and logistics.
During the years of Independence, 350 Kazakhstani projects received the EU funding worth 180 million euros. They were directed, among other things, to the implementation of economic reforms. The parties believe that the new agreement will intensify mutually beneficial cooperation.