Kazakhstan, EU Agree to Enhance Relations in Agriculture  

ASTANA – Kazakh Prime Minister Olzhas Bektenov and European Union (EU) Commissioner for Agriculture Janusz Wojciechowski explored prospects to expand cooperation in the agri-food sector during a May 29 meeting, reported the Prime Minister’s press service.

Photo credit: Prime Minister’s press service

The sides agreed to elevate quality standards for agricultural products and support farmers. Bektenov and Wojciechowski outlined the need to strengthen interaction to implement advanced agricultural technologies and exchange experience in reducing the risk of the negative impact of a changing climate on the agricultural sector.

“Given Kazakhstan’s ability to produce high-quality, environmentally friendly organic agricultural products and the growing demand from Europe, we need to intensify efforts to expand the range of goods Kazakhstan exports to the European market,” said Bektenov.

Wojciechowski noted the favorable conditions created in Kazakhstan for investors and confirmed the intention of the EU countries to strengthen bilateral cooperation.

Janusz Wojciechowski. Photo credit: Prime Minister’s press service

Wojciechowski also met with Kazakh Minister of Agriculture Aidarbek Saparov on the sidelines of the Interfood Astana International Exhibition, reported the ministry’s press service.

During the talks, the sides agreed to hold technical discussions to eliminate barriers limiting trade and open the EU market for Kazakh meat products, honey and dairy products. The EU can export pork and poultry products to Kazakhstan.

“Kazakhstan is a country having huge potential in agriculture, especially in seeds production, animal production and oilseed production which we need. Europe is interested in expanding trade relations. There are some trade barriers limiting European exports to Kazakhstan and Kazakh exports to the EU. It is necessary to solve the problem at the technical level. I am very satisfied with the meeting with Saparov because there is a good will to increase our trade relations and solve the problem limiting our trade,” Wojciechowski told The Astana Times.

In 2023, Kazakhstan exported 650,000 tons of wheat to the EU countries. The European states account for 20% of the total export of flax seeds from Kazakhstan, 79% of rapeseeds. Kazakhstan intends to increase the export of these and other crop products to Europe, including through the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route.

In 2023, Kazakhstan exported nearly 25,000 tons of fish products worth $85 million. Of them, around 11,000 tons of fish worth $60 million were exported to EU countries (Denmark, Germany, Lithuania, the Netherlands, and others).

EU countries account for more than 40% of attracted investments and nearly 30% of Kazakhstan’s foreign trade. Over the year, trade volume increased by 3.5% and reached $41.4 billion, of which $31 billion came from Kazakh exports.

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