ASTANA – A German delegation from the Bundestag, headed by Chairman of the Parliamentary Friendship Group for Relations with the States of Central Asia Eugen Schmidt, arrived in Astana on Feb. 20 to meet with the Kazakh top officials and discuss the Kazakh-German relations.
The official delegation included Bundestag members Thomas Bareiss, Christian Gorke, and Christian Schreider, reported the Kazakh Foreign Ministry’s press service.
At the meeting with State Counselor Erlan Karin, the two sides discussed the current state of relations and prospects for further bilateral cooperation.
Karin spoke about the country’s ongoing political reforms and upcoming elections to the Mazhilis, the lower chamber of the Parliament, and the maslikhats, the local representative bodies, on March 19.
The German deputies commended the consistent nature of Kazakhstan’s political modernization and wished the country successful progress along the current path of democratic reforms.
During the meeting with First Deputy Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Roman Sklyar, also attended by Ambassador of Germany to Kazakhstan Monika Iversen, the sides addressed the development of Kazakh-German trade and investment cooperation and exchanged views on promising projects in the green economy and conventional energy.
Sklyar highlighted the growing dynamics of bilateral trade and the increase in direct German investments in Kazakhstan’s economy.
In turn, Bundestag members commended the Kazakh government’s working group, led by Sklyar, on expanding investment cooperation with German businesses. They indicated their willingness to help strengthen collaboration through relevant German parliamentary committees.
Chairman of the Senate Committee on International Relations, Defense and Security Askar Shakirov and the German delegation reviewed prospects for cooperation in the economic, cultural and humanitarian spheres during their Feb. 20 meeting in Astana, reported the Senate’s press service. The sides expressed their determination to strengthen inter-parliamentary cooperation between two countries, including at international organizations.
Deputy Foreign Minister Roman Vassilenko also met with the Bundestag delegation on Feb. 21.
The parties welcomed active political dialogue between Kazakhstan and Germany, including the upcoming visit of German Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier planned for later this year.
They also underlined trade and economic cooperation as the primary driver of Kazakh-German relations. In 2022, bilateral trade reached $2.8 billion, a nearly 25 percent increase compared to 2021. Kazakhstan accounts for over 80 percent of all German economic activity in the Central Asian region, according to the country’s foreign ministry.
In addition to traditional spheres of cooperation in investments, engineering, agriculture, transportation, logistics, Vassilenko welcomed Germany’s initiative to open a Hydrogen Diplomacy Office in Astana announced last year.
According to him, this is a testament to both countries’ shared goal to contribute to combating global warming and ensuring energy security.
The delegation’s visit to Kazakhstan continues in Almaty. The Bundestag members were set to meet with the city’s mayor, Yerbolat Dossayev, and visit the Kazakh-German University and the National German Drama Theater.