European Commission Vice President Visits Kazakhstan, Meets Government Officials

ASTANA – Kazakhstan’s Senate Chairman Maulen Ashimbayev and Vice President of the European Commission Margaritis Schinas addressed trade, economic and investment cooperation, including the development of the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route (TITR), during a Jan. 15 meeting, reported the Senate’s press service.

Photo credit: Kazakh Senate

Schinas started his Central Asian tour in Kazakhstan on Jan. 15. In a post on X, he described Kazakhstan as a “key actor in the region’s positive evolution.”

During the meeting, Ashimbayev underlined that the European Union (EU) is a strategic partner of Kazakhstan and the country remains committed to strengthening bilateral ties.

Schinas also expressed interest in strengthening relations and commended Kazakhstan’s course towards reforms.

Photo credit: Prime Minister’s press service

 “Kazakhstan is a beacon of modernization and reform and my visit has confirmed this. Meetings with the country’s leaders covered our partnership which we will take from strength to strength,” Schinas wrote on X.

He also met with Kazakh Prime Minister Alikhan Smailov. The sides discussed steps to strengthen trade and economic relations between Kazakhstan and the EU.

“We support a mutual willingness for the progressive development of Kazakh-European cooperation in the spirit of trust and respect,” said Smailov.

According to Smailov, the EU is one of Kazakhstan’s largest trade and investment partners. He noted the EU accounts for nearly 30% of the nation’s foreign trade and around 40% of attracted investments.

Between January and November 2023, trade turnover increased by almost 5% and reached $38 billion.

According to Smailov, there are almost 6,000 joint ventures operating in Kazakhstan, 130 of which were created last year. These indicators, he noted, “highlight the sustainability and attractiveness of the economy for European partners.”

“We call on the European investment community to expand participation in joint projects,” Smailov said.

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