ASTANA – Kazakh and Austrian officials and business leaders outlined priority areas to enhance trade and economic cooperation during the 11th meeting of the Kazakh-Austrian Intergovernmental Commission on Economic, Agricultural, Ecological, Technical, Industrial, and Technological Cooperation (IGC) in Graz, Austria, reported the Kazakh Foreign Ministry’s press service on April 21.
Addressing the participants of the meeting, Kazakh Deputy Foreign Minister Roman Vassilenko outlined the country’s social and economic development and the implementation of large-scale reforms and invited Austrian entrepreneurs to explore the Kazakh market.
“Kazakhstan faces an important task to accelerate the pace of comprehensive modernization and make a breakthrough in social and economic development,” said Vassilenko.
Director General for Economic Affairs, Innovation and International Policy of the Austrian Ministry of Labour and Economy Florian Frauscher said Kazakhstan is Austria’s leading partner in Central Asia, emphasizing the importance of increasing trade and economic cooperation between the two countries.
Frauscher expressed particular interest in the measures taken by the Kazakh government to diversify the economy and increase investment attractiveness.
The parties reaffirmed their interest in deepening partnership and addressed prospects for cooperation in the energy, transport, agriculture, healthcare, tourism, and digitalization sectors.
Kazakh Institute for Standardization and Metrology and Austrian Standards signed a cooperation agreement during the meeting.
Business leaders from both countries attended the Kazakh-Austrian business forum on the same day, where Deputy Chairman of Baiterek National Managing Holding Nurbolat Aidapkelov outlined financial measures to support the agriculture sector in Kazakhstan.
“Kazakhstan’s agricultural industry is one of the most attractive sectors for investment, including for Austrian investors. Rich land resources and a favorable geographical location with access to the fast-growing markets of China, the countries of the Eurasian Economic Union, and the Persian Gulf make it attractive for investment,” said Aidapkelov.
He also noted poultry meat production, beef processing, sugar, cheese and cottage cheese production, fish farming, apple orchards, dairy farms, feedlots, reproducers, greenhouses, crop processing, and irrigation as particularly attractive sectors of the agro-industrial complex for financing.
According to Kazakh statistics, trade turnover between Kazakhstan and Austria reached $202.7 million last year, 24.3 percent more than in the previous year ($163.1 million).