Kazakhstan, Finland Strengthen Trade and Transport Ties at Commission Meeting

ASTANA – The 13th meeting of the Kazakh-Finnish Intergovernmental Commission on Trade and Economic Cooperation was held in Astana to discuss prospects of cooperation in transport and trade on April 11, reported the press service of the Kazakh Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources.

Photo credit: invest.gov.kz

Other topics on the agenda were higher education, industry, geology, energy, forestry and water resources.

Transport and logistics

Kazakh Vice Minister of Transport Maksat Kaliakparov emphasized the strategic importance of Kazakhstan in the field of transport and logistics.

“Kazakhstan is the main link in the Middle Corridor and has already shown potential as an alternative to East-West routes. This is evident in the 86% growth in cargo transhipment through the seaports of Aktau and Kuryk, which almost doubled to 2.8 million tons,” said the vice minister, as quoted by Kazinform news agency.

“TITR (Trans-Caspian International Transport Route) is a green corridor. Today, a reduction of cargo transit time from 23 to 14-18 days has been achieved, with Kazakhstan’s [transit time] reducing to five days. According to the results of 2023, there is an increase in the volume of cargo transportation through TITR by 65%,” he added.

In 2023, rail transport saw a 25% increase compared to 2022, moving a total of 4.3 million tons, while road transport rose by 14% compared to the previous year’s figures.

“For the purpose of container cargo transportation development on a route, China-Finland-China KTZ Express signed the memorandum of cooperation with the Finnish logistic operator Nurminen Logistics Services Oy,” said Kaliakparov. 

The document is supposed to develop cargo transportation and start joint container services from China to Finland and on TITR through the territory of Kazakhstan, he added..

The Kazakh official invited the Finnish side to consider the possibility of resuming direct regular flights between the two countries based on the memorandum of understanding between the aviation authorities of Kazakhstan and Finland signed in 2019.

“Designated carriers of both sides have the right to perform direct flights between the countries with a frequency of 14 flights per week from each side on any type of aircraft,” he said.

“Kazakhstan plays a key role in the development of the Trans-Caspian route. I would like to emphasize that we are ready to continue our fruitful cooperation with Kazakhstan in transportation and logistics,” said Mikko Kivikoski, deputy director general of the department for Russia, Eastern Europe and Central Asia at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland.

Trade cooperation

Kazakh Vice Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources Zhomart Aliyev highlighted the stable level of trade between Kazakhstan and Finland.

“Bilateral trade turnover between the two countries for 2023 amounted to $208 million – an increase of 3% compared to 2022. Exports from Kazakhstan to Finland amounted to $3 million, which is a 93.1% decrease, while imports from Finland to the Republic of Kazakhstan increased by 30.5%, accounting for $205 million,” said Aliyev, as quoted by Kazinform.

According to him, direct investment from Finland to Kazakhstan accounted for $409.5 million from 2005 up to the third quarter of 2023, with $11.6 million recorded for 2023 alone.

Aliyev emphasized that Kazakhstan is working to improve the investment climate and today offers good conditions for investors.

“At the same time, Kazakhstan is taking measures to facilitate the relocation of large industrial enterprises and international corporations to the country. In this regard, thanks to the consistent improvement of the business climate in Kazakhstan, Finnish businesses can get a new platform for their relocation with the possibility of entering the market of the Central Asian region. Considering the above, we invite Finnish companies to open their representative offices in Kazakhstan,” said Aliyev.

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