Kazakhstan, South Korea Reaffirm Commitment to Expand Strategic Partnership

ASTANA – President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev and President of South Korea Yoon Suk Yeol reaffirmed their intention to elevate bilateral relations to a new level within an expanded strategic partnership during negotiations on June 12, reported Akorda.

Kassym-Jomart Tokayev and Yoon Suk Yeol. Photo credit: Akorda

Tokayev highlighted the progress achieved through joint efforts, noting that bilateral trade turnover has reached $6 billion. The two countries have implemented large-scale economic projects, expanding investment cooperation annually.

He designated South Korea as a true economic and technological locomotive on a global scale, emphasizing the significant role of world-famous Korean corporations in promoting the country’s international standing as a “key global state.”

Tokayev identified Seoul as one of Kazakhstan’s most important strategic partners in the Asia-Pacific region. South Korea ranks fourth in foreign trade turnover with Kazakhstan and is among the country’s top ten foreign investors.

Over the past three decades, Kazakhstan and South Korea have reached a high level of political dialogue, fruitful economic cooperation, and solid humanitarian ties. Both countries engage in various forms of collaboration, including interparliamentary, intergovernmental, and interdepartmental contacts. The Business Council and the Intergovernmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific, and Technical Cooperation are functioning successfully.

Regular contacts between entrepreneurs from the countries play a crucial role in building close ties. More than 700 joint ventures with Korean capital operate in Kazakhstan.

Cultural and humanitarian connections are also active. Tokayev acknowledged the critical role of the 120,000 ethnic Koreans in Kazakhstan in bolstering bilateral relations. He also highlighted the contribution of over 1,000 Kazakh students studying in South Korea as a “golden bridge of friendship” between the two nations.

Yoon expressed satisfaction with his visit to Kazakhstan, which coincides with the 15th anniversary of the strategic partnership between the countries. He noted that many Korean companies invest in Kazakhstan, create jobs, and contribute to industrial development.

These companies are also involved in modernizing Kazakhstan’s national infrastructure through projects such as the construction of the Big Almaty Ring Road (BAKAD) and a combined-cycle power plant.

South Korea intends to expand cooperation in promising areas such as extracting critical raw materials, nuclear energy, and renewable energy sources. Yoon mentioned the Korean government’s K-Silk Road cooperation initiative between South Korea and Central Asian states, marking the country’s first diplomatic strategy towards Central Asia.

During the negotiations, the leaders discussed prospects for bilateral cooperation in various sectors, including energy, infrastructure and industry, mechanical engineering, trade, transport and logistics, digitization and the aerospace industry, the financial sector, education, healthcare and pharmaceuticals, tourism and culture, and the environment.

Tokayev noted that Kazakhstan and South Korea, as middle powers with similar positions on many international issues, can contribute to resolving geopolitical contradictions.

Following the negotiations, the leaders adopted a joint statement, signing agreements on cooperation in the energy industry and the oil, gas and petrochemical sectors, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on comprehensive cooperation in the electric power industry, a memorandum on comprehensive cooperation in critical minerals and metals, MoU on cooperation in knowledge exchange and development, science and technology, forestry, personnel management in the public service, employment and labor, banking supervision, and a MoU on cooperation in accordance with Article 6 of the Paris Agreement.

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