ASTANA – President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev lauded the Kazakh-French relations during a meeting with Olivier Becht, the co-chairman of the Kazakh-French Intergovernmental Commission, stating that Becht’s first visit to Kazakhstan will strengthen their strategic partnership in all areas, the Akorda press service reported on May 2.
Tokayev and Becht discussed the implementation of trade, economic, and investment agreements reached during Tokayev’s visit to France in November last year.
The President said that Kazakhstan will create all the necessary conditions for French-owned companies to increase their presence in the Kazakh market, particularly in the petrochemical industry, green energy, aviation, manufacturing, transport and logistics.
Tokayev also invited French President Emmanuel Macron to pay a state visit to Kazakhstan.
“France is our major partner in Europe. We strongly believe that we have a lot of opportunities to explore,” he said.
Becht spoke about the dynamic interaction between Kazakhstan and France, emphasizing the political aspect of their bilateral relations that led to detailed discussions of the most pressing global issues.
“Your country is a reliable partner for France, and the only country in Central Asia with which we have a strategic partnership,” said Becht.
The Kazakh-French Intergovernmental Commission on economic cooperation has been operating since 1992, aiming to promote collaboration between the two countries in various fields.
Over the last decade, trade and economic relations between Kazakhstan and France have ranged from $2.5 billion to $6.5 billion annually, with Kazakh exports making up 80-90 percent.
According to the State Revenue Committee of the Kazakh Finance Ministry, the commodity trade between the countries in 2022 reached $4 billion, 29.8 percent higher than in the previous year ($3.1 billion).
Last year, Kazakhstan’s exports to France totaled $3.1 billion, having grown 28.1 percent due to an increase in the supply of crude oil, turbojet, turboprop engines, other gas turbines, titanium, and sulfur.
France’s imports in Kazakhstan totaled $903.7 million, with a 35.9 percent increase in the supplies of aircraft, turbojet and turboprop engines, other gas turbines, jewelry and their parts made of precious metals, petroleum products, tires, antiknock agents, antioxidants, inhibitors, thickeners, soil sorting, and grinding machines.