ASTANA – President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev continued his round of meetings with world leaders – Presidents of Kenya, Mongolia, Montenegro, Portugal, Romania, and South Korea, on the sidelines of the 78th session of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly on Sept. 19 in New York, reported the Akorda press service.
Tokayev highlighted the importance of activating the work of the intergovernmental commission and the business council to increase trade and economic cooperation with Romania, Kazakhstan’s leading trading partner in Eastern Europe, with bilateral trade increasing by over 20% to $1.3 billion.
President of Romania Klaus Iohannis expressed his commitment to fostering bilateral cooperation and enhancing high-level political contacts, as the countries share a common history.
At the meeting with Montenegro’s President Jakov Milatović, Tokayev revealed plans to open a Kazakh consulate in the country’s capital, Podgorica, to enhance business and interpersonal ties.
President Tokayev emphasized the positive dynamics in tourism, with over 40,000 people traveling visa-free directly from Astana to Podgorica.
At the meeting with the President of Portugal Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, the leaders emphasized their countries’ vast potential for building comprehensive ties in investment, water resources management and tourism.
Given Portugal’s extensive experience in IT, President Tokayev expressed his intention to send a special delegation to Lisbon to strengthen cooperation in digitization.
At the meeting with Mongolia’s President Ukhnaagiin Khürelsükh, Tokayev stressed the possibility of elevating bilateral relations to a strategic partnership. He suggested intensifying the work of the intergovernmental commission and establishing a business council of Kazakhstan and Mongolia to give additional impetus to trade and economic interaction.
During the meeting with President William Ruto, Tokayev said that Kazakhstan is interested in developing trade and economic relations with Kenya, one of the most prosperous African countries.
He shared his plans to send a trade mission to Kenya to explore opportunities. Ruto invited the Kazakh companies to invest in the Kenyan economy and consider expanding the port of Mombasa by constructing a grain terminal.
The meeting with Yoon Suk Yeol, the President of South Korea, one of Kazakhstan’s top ten significant investors, concluded the negotiations in New York. Tokayev highlighted growth between the countries, with bilateral trade turnover exceeding $6 billion last year and Korean companies investing over $8 billion in Kazakhstan’s economy.
He mentioned more than 700 Korean companies and joint ventures operate in Kazakhstan, including KIA, Hyundai, Samsung and LG.
President Tokayev outlined promising areas of economic cooperation in rare earth metals mining and nuclear energy development. Yoon Suk Yeol expressed companies’ interest in expanding existing and implementing new projects in mechanical engineering, mining, and nuclear energy.
Reiterating his commitment to strengthening cooperation within international organizations, such as the UN and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, Tokayev invited the presidents to participate in the Astana International Forum next year.