Finland to Open Visa Hub for Central Asian States in Astana

ASTANA – Finland is set to open a visa hub for citizens of Central Asian states at the Finnish Embassy in Astana, said Finland’s Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari during his meeting with Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev on Feb. 24, as reported by the Akorda press service. 

Kassym-Jomart Tokayev and Ville Skinnari. Photo credit: Akorda.

According to Tokayev, the Finnish delegation’s visit to Kazakhstan will help strengthen bilateral ties and accelerate cooperation.

Over the 30 years of development of diplomatic relations, Finland has become Kazakhstan’s second largest investor among the Nordic states. Kazakhstan also accounts for 90 percent of Finland’s trade with Central Asia.

Tokayev highlighted the importance of the bilateral partnership in trade, economy, transport, logistics, and education. He expressed readiness to fully support the Finnish entrepreneurs to encourage their continued investment into Kazakhstan. 

Skinnari, who also co-chairs the Kazakh-Finnish Intergovernmental Commission for Economic Cooperation, noted the significant potential for cooperation between the two countries.

Alikhan Smailov and Ville Skinnari. Photo credit: Prime Minister’s press service.

The Finnish delegation included the representatives of 15 large companies such as Nurminen Logistics Plc, Nokia, EastCham Finland, Business Finland, Lamor, Wärtsilä Finland, PayIQ, and EPSE.

During the delegation’s meeting with Kazakh Prime Minister Alikhan Smailov, the sides addressed cooperation in trade, investment, transport, logistics, agriculture, digitalization, education, and low-carbon development.

“We see great opportunities to build up investment cooperation and increase the volume of mutual trade. An important role in this is assigned to the intergovernmental commission, which, among other things, is an effective platform for dialogue between the two countries’ business leaders,” said Smailov.

According to Skinnari, Finland is interested in promoting climate initiatives, developing renewable energy, and promising logistics corridors from Asia to Europe, particularly the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route (TITR).

Following the meeting, the sides confirmed their readiness to continue work to expand the Kazakh-Finnish partnership.

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