Kazakhstan, EU Discuss Plans to Develop Middle Corridor

ASTANA – Ambassador of the European Union (EU) to Kazakhstan Kęstutis Jankauskas and heads of EU diplomatic missions expressed interest in unlocking the potential of the Middle Corridor at the 15th meeting of the Kazakhstan-EU dialogue platform chaired by Prime Minister Olzhas Bektenov on July 10.

Olzhas Bektenov chairs the 15th meeting of the Kazakhstan-EU dialogue platform. Photo credit: primeminister.kz

As stated by the Prime Minister’s press service, the meeting participants discussed plans to develop the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route (TITR) as one of the most promising directions. Around 85% of goods from China to EU countries are transported through Kazakhstan, which is a transit hub between Europe and Asia. The TITR provides the most competitive delivery time of 12-15 days, making it highly attractive for trade flows.

Middle Corridor Multimodal, a company established at the Astana International Financial Centre, and the European Global Gateway initiative were highlighted as key initiatives facilitating investments in the transport sector.

As one of Kazakhstan’s key partners, the EU accounts for more than 40% of attracted investments and around 30% of foreign trade.

“The EU is a large and significant investment and trade partner of Kazakhstan. We are constantly working in all priority areas. The government highly values ​​the contribution and involvement in strengthening cooperation between our countries. We are always open to proposals aimed at building up a mutually beneficial partnership,” Bektenov said.

Jankauskas and Romanian Ambassador to Kazakhstan Mădălina Lupu positively assessed Kazakhstan’s efforts to improve its business climate and noted the stability and appeal of its economy to European businesses. They affirmed their shared commitment to enhancing trade and economic ties, aiming to elevate the strategic partnership to a new level.

In 2023, trade turnover between Kazakhstan and EU countries reached $41.4 billion, a 36.2% increase since 2019. 

In five years, Kazakhstan’s exports increased by 28.2%, reaching $31 billion in 2023, while imports surged by 67.6% to $10.4 billion in 2023. Investments from EU countries in Kazakhstan’s economy totaled $10.4 billion in the past year, with $2.8 billion invested in the first quarter of 2024, primarily originating from the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Cyprus, and Luxembourg.

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