ASTANA – The synergy of Germany’s political influence and economic opportunities with the enormous potential of the Central Asian states can make a great contribution to the region’s sustainable progress, said President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev during a meeting with Chancellor of Germany Olaf Scholz and heads of Central Asian countries in Berlin on Sept. 29, reported Akorda.
Earlier, the heads of states participated in the C5+Germany summit with German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier.
It is reported that Central Asian trade with Germany showed a positive trend, totaling $11 billion at the end of last year. Kazakhstan accounts for more than 80% of this trade turnover.
Tokayev expressed readiness to “increase exports to Germany by an additional 100 non-resource items totaling $850 million.”
The long-term import contracts and special trade preferences to Central Asian states can contribute to the growth of mutual trade turnover.
Tokayev also condemned the sanctions confrontation and supported trade without restrictions and barriers.
“Kazakhstan opposes sanction confrontations, as politically motivated restrictions poison the overall atmosphere of international relations and do not contribute to the development of trade and economic cooperation between states,” said Tokayev. “At the same time, we must consider sanctions restrictions in regional politics. We believe that the time has come for constructive diplomacy to find a mutually acceptable formula for peace and cooperation. I recently spoke about this from the rostrum of the United Nations during a session of the General Assembly. Kazakhstan advocates for the development of barrier-free trade and investment cooperation with all interested states.”
Tokayev noted that meetings with the Chancellor and the heads of German companies will be productive for economic cooperation.
As agriculture is also a priority area, the President proposed to establish the Regional Centre for Sustainable Agriculture in Kazakhstan with the support of German partners.
“For more than 30 years, Germany has consistently been among the main investors in our country’s economy. Kazakhstan aims to continue mutually beneficial cooperation with Germany and is ready to create all necessary conditions for German investors, including compliance with Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) principles,” he said.
Cooperation in the field of transport and transit was also on the agenda of the meeting. Tokayev invited German partners to participate in developing the Trans-Caspian route and Caspian Sea ports and establish joint production of transport vessels and creating logistics centers.
“The Central Asian region is becoming a key link in global transport, playing an important role as a continental bridge in the North-South and East-West directions,” Tokayev said. “Of particular importance is the development of the Trans-Caspian route and its conjunction with the Global Gateway strategy. In the medium term, the volume of cargo traffic along this corridor can be increased fivefold. Systematic work is being carried out for this purpose.”
Kazakhstan has reserves to fill the deficit in the world market of titanium and other materials.
Ecology and the green economy are another vital priority for interaction. Germany launched the Hydrogen Diplomacy Office in Astana, which covers all countries in the region. The German government has also launched the Green Central Asia initiative to continue the Water Initiative for Central Asia.
Tokayev spoke about terrorism, religious extremism, drug trafficking and transnational crime as one of the challenges for Central Asia. Germany has been addressing these threats through its project and within the framework of the EU, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and other international organizations.
Tokayev urged to continue to support the efforts of the international community and the Central Asian states to prevent a humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan. He noted the importance of establishing the UN Regional Centre for Sustainable Development for Central Asia and Afghanistan in Almaty.
President of Kyrgyzstan Sadyr Zhaparov, President of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon, President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev, and Chairman of the Halk Maslahaty of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov attended the meeting.