News Digest: Foreign Media on EU Investments in Kazakhstan, Middle Corridor and More

ASTANA – The Astana Times has picked a selection of articles on Kazakhstan published in international media worldwide. This week’s foreign media digest includes articles on Kazakhstan’s action plan on human rights, the European Union (EU) investments in Kazakh economy and the Middle Corridor’s potential.

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President Tokayev signs Action Plan on human rights ahead of World Human Rights Day

EU Reporter published an article on Dec. 13 about a new presidential decree setting out the country’s action plan on human rights and the rule of law.

“This action plan aims to promote gender equality, combat any forms of domestic violence, enhance the performance of the criminal justice system, and prevent torture and ill-treatment,” wrote Tokayev.

According to the President, the new decree envisions the establishment of robust mechanisms dedicated to ensuring freedom of association, safeguarding workers’ rights, and uplifting vulnerable groups within the country.

Volume of investments from EU countries to Kazakhstan revealed

The total volume of investment from Europe in Kazakhstan has exceeded $175 billion, reported Trend on Dec. 14 citing the Kazakh Prime Minister Alikhan Smailov at the 13th meeting of the Kazakhstan-European Union (EU) dialogue platform.

 “Currently, the European Union is the largest trade and investment partner for Kazakhstan,” he said.

He added that in particular, the EU countries have invested more than $5.2 billion in the economy of Kazakhstan over the past six months. The Prime Minister also said that the share of the EU in Kazakhstan’s foreign trade is around 30%. According to him, the total trade turnover between the parties exceeded $34 billion in 10 months. The PM noted that these indicators reflect a consistent course to strengthen trade and economic cooperation.

Central Asian trade corridor gains interest amid regional tensions

The emergence of a Middle Corridor – a transit network linking Asia with European markets by way of Central Asia, the Caspian Sea and the Caucasus — is rapidly gaining momentum as an alternative to Russia-controlled routes, according to an article published in the Voice of America on Dec. 8. 

Gaidar Abdikerimov, who heads the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route (TITR) association, reports that his network now comprises 25 transport and logistics companies, including ports, vessels, railways, and terminals. Its members also include 11 countries: Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Türkiye, Ukraine, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Lithuania, China and Singapore.

“This all means that there is a high interest in our route,” Abdikerimov said in a recent forum at the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute (CACI) in Washington. He told the audience that over the past 10 months, more than 2.256 million tons of cargo have been transported over the route.

Amid global transitions, Kazakhstan is an emerging swing player

Kazakhstan is assuming an increasingly important role amid a global energy transition and regional diplomatic shifts, according to an article published in The National Interest on Nov. 29.

“Not only is the country a major producer and exporter of fossil fuels, but it is also a potentially pivotal player when it comes to the global energy transition to combat climate change. Kazakhstan contains significant deposits of critical minerals needed for solar, wind, and electric batteries, and it could be a significant exporter of clean fuels like green hydrogen in the future,” the article reads. 

Middle Corridor emerges as crucial alternative amid disruptions of traditional routes – Kazakh PM

TITR, also known as the Middle Corridor, is an important alternative amid rupture of traditional communication routes, said Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Alikhan Smailov during a government meeting, Trend reported on Dec. 13.

“Kazakhstan has no access to the oceans, so we are developing all types of transport. Moreover, due to the geopolitical situation in the world and the rupture of traditional communication routes, there is a need to find alternative routes. A vivid example is the Trans – Caspian International Transport Route,” he said.

The Middle Corridor is a transportation and trade route that connects Asia and Europe, passing through several countries in the region. It is an alternative route to the traditional Northern Corridor and Southern Corridor. The route starts in China and crosses Central Asian countries such as Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan. It then passes through the Caspian Sea, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Türkiye before reaching Europe. The Middle Corridor offers a land route that connects the eastern parts of Asia, including China, with Europe, bypassing the longer maritime routes.

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