Kazakhstan, Tajikistan Agree to Boost Trade, Strengthen Political Dialogue

NUR-SULTAN – Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev began his two-day visit to Dushanbe May 19 meeting with Tajikistan’s President Emomali Rahmon and other senior officials, reports the Akorda press service. 

The high-level talks were preceded by an official welcoming ceremony for Tokayev, which began with a welcoming report from the head of the guard of honor and the two countries’ national anthems. Photo credit: Akorda press service

Tokayev arrived in Dushanbe at the invitation of Emomali Rahmon for his first foreign trip in 2021. 

During their meeting Tokayev and Rahmon focusing on a wide range of issues regarding the strategic partnership, strengthening the political dialogue, trade, economic investment, cultural, and humanitarian cooperation. 

Kazakhstan and Tajikistan established diplomatic relations in January 1993 and signed a strategic partnership agreement in September 2015 during then-President Nursultan Nazarbayev’s visit to Dushanbe.

Security and stability in Central Asia and multilateral cooperation were also on the meeting agenda. 

Kazakhstan and Tajikistan have the opportunity to boost cooperation in all areas, said Tokayev describing the two countries as brotherly states. 

“We have a lot to discuss. Despite the pandemic, last year’s trade reached $800 million. This shows great potential for the trade and economic sphere. We have our proposals and we are ready to listen to yours in this regard,” said Tokayev. 

Following their meeting, Tokayev and Rahmon addressed a press conference, where the two leaders noted the strong ties between their countries. 

Tokayev and Rahmon during the press conference.

People share “strong bonds of friendship, a common history, and spiritual and cultural values,” according to Tokayev. 

In his remarks, Tokayev reaffirmed the interest of Kazakh companies to establish joint ventures to produce cars and buses, build a transformer plant in Tajikistan, provide supplies of railway components, helicopters, and metal products for the construction of the Rogun hydropower plant, being constructed on the upper reaches of the Vakhsh River in the Pamir mountain ranges. 

Agriculture is a promising area where cooperation can unlock greater opportunities. 

“Kazakhstan expects to increase the supply of wheat, flour, meat, and dairy products on mutually beneficial terms. Tajikistan, in turn, has great opportunities to export fruits and vegetables to Kazakhstan. To support our farmers and reduce unnecessary intermediate chains, we supported the idea of building joint wholesale and distribution centers to ensure the supply of Tajik agricultural products to the Kazakh market,” said Tokayev at the press conference. 

With all measures in place, Tokayev said trade turnover could reach $1 billion.

Tokayev also commended the countries’ cooperation within the UN, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).

He also thanked Rahmon for his support for Kazakhstan’s initiatives in the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) and congratulated him on Tajikistan’s successful presidency in the organization in 2018-2020.

Rahmon noted the dynamic development of bilateral ties. 

“Kazakhstan ranks second among the leading trade and economic partners of Tajikistan. Spiritual, cultural, and humanitarian cooperation, as well as cooperation in security, are getting stronger,” said Rahmon. 

Tokayev’s visit also saw the signing of agreements between Kazakh and Tajik ministries in healthcare, foreign affairs, culture and sports, aerospace, trade, and infrastructure. 

Get The Astana Times stories sent directly to you! Sign up via the website or subscribe to our Twitter and Telegram!