ASTANA – Portugal’s opera diva Susana Gaspar and Kazakh and world opera soloists Maria Mudryak and Medet Chotabayev will perform at the Gala Concert to mark the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Kazakhstan and the European Union (EU) at the Astana Opera on February 2, reported the theater’s press release.
According to the Head of EU Mission to Kazakhstan Ambassador Kestutis Jankauskas, Kazakhstan and the EU have achieved great success in various fields over this period. He emphasized the importance of interpersonal relationships in strengthening ties between countries, in which cultural events play a big role.
“That is why the decision was made to celebrate this significant day with a concert that will unite the cultures of the EU countries and Kazakhstan,” Jankauskas said.
Official diplomatic relations between the EU and Kazakhstan were established in 1993, and since then, the EU had provided official development assistance to the country.
In December 1993, Kazakhstan opened its embassy in Brussels and in November 1994, the EU Delegation to Kazakhstan began its work in Almaty. In 2007, the office of the EU Delegation to Kazakhstan moved to Astana.
In December 2015, the EU and Kazakhstan signed an Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (EPCA). This agreement, the first of its kind with a Central Asian nation that fully entered into force in March 2020, has brought relations between the EU and Kazakhstan to a new level.
The EU is Kazakhstan’s largest trading partner with a total foreign direct investment of $160 billion, reported the EU office in Kazakhstan.
In 2022, the volume of trade between Kazakhstan and the EU countries exceeded $35 billion. To date, nearly 6,000 EU companies operate in Kazakhstan.
To boost intra-regional and international trade in the region, the EU launched the Ready4Trade Central Asia project in 2020. The project is concerned with promoting Central Asian artisans, including from Kazakhstan, on international marketplaces such as eBay, Alibaba, Etsy, NOVICA. Since the beginning of the project, the Kazakh artisans have earned over $500,000 in online sales.
The EU supports Kazakhstan’s efforts to achieve carbon neutrality, strengthen water security and save the climate. According to Deputy Head of EU Mission to Kazakhstan Maciej Madalinsky, the EU welcomes Kazakhstan’s ambition to become carbon-neutral by 2060 because it aligns with the EU Green Deal, which aims to combat climate change, reduce CO2 emissions, and revert biodiversity loss.
In October 2019, the EU renewed the EU-Central Asia Water, Environment and Climate Change Cooperation (WECOOP) project, which aims at strengthening the policy dialogue on sustainable development between the Central Asian countries, and facilitating their cooperation with the EU on environment and climate change.