ASTANA – Kazakhstan and the United Kingdom (UK) pledged to deepen and broaden bilateral cooperation during the seventh session of the Kazakh-UK Strategic Dialogue on Oct. 2, reported the Foreign Ministry’s press service.
The meeting, chaired by Kazakh Deputy Foreign Minister Roman Vassilenko and Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Europe at the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office Leo Docherty, focused on key areas of collaboration, including transport and logistics, critical minerals and renewable energy, environment and healthcare.
The sides discussed the priorities of bilateral cooperation and exchanged views on the major multilateral and regional agenda.
Docherty described Kazakhstan as a “very important partner” of the UK, particularly in terms of regional dialogue and energy cooperation with Europe.
According to Vassilenko, the anticipated bilateral Strategic Partnership and Cooperation Agreement is expected to bring intergovernmental partnership to a new level. He also confirmed the readiness to continue promoting comprehensive dialogue between the ministries.
Vassilenko called for advancing cooperation in education to open branches of UK universities in Kazakhstan and simplify conditions for travel between the two countries. They also discussed exchanging information and researching British archival data on Kazakhstan and the Central Asian region.
During the meeting, the Kazakh Ministry of Healthcare and British-Swedish company AstraZeneca signed a plan of measures to produce the company’s medicines in Kazakhstan.
“This is an important event for the development of the country’s pharmaceutical industry. Thanks to this project, Kazakhstan’s citizens will have access to AstraZeneca’s innovative drugs. We also expect the project to help increase the scientific and human resources potential for the pharmaceutical and medical industry of Kazakhstan,” said Kazakh Minister of Healthcare Azhar Giniyat.
Based in Cambridge, AstraZeneca is an international science-based biopharmaceutical company, and its innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide.
Last year, the volume of Kazakh-British bilateral trade reached $1.8 billion, increasing by more than 60% compared to 2021, including $1.5 billion in exports and $384.3 million in imports. In January-August 2023, bilateral trade grew to $879 million.
The UK is among the largest foreign investors in Kazakhstan. Last year, British investments in Kazakhstan’s economy hit $661 million and over $16 billion since 2005. Around 600 companies with British capital operate in Kazakhstan.