​Minister Abdrakhmanov discusses cooperation prospects with UK diplomats

ASTANA, October 31, 2018 – The Minister of Foreign Affairs Kairat Abdrakhmanov discussed with the UK's Central Asian ambassadors new opportunities for the development of bilateral and multilateral cooperation.

On October 29-31, Astana hosted a forum of the heads of the UK's diplomatic missions and leaders of the Foreign Office in charge of relations with the region. This form is held on an annual basis, alternately in each of the five Central Asian states.

At the meeting, participants exchanged views on the current state and prospects of relations between the UK and Kazakhstan as well as regional countries, and they confirmed the intention to strengthen cooperation in all areas of mutual interest.

Particular attention was paid to the role of Kazakhstan in Central Asia, as evidenced by the non-permanent membership of Kazakhstan in the UN Security Council, as well as international and regional initiatives of President Nursultan Nazarbayev, which are widely supported.

In this regard, the Foreign Minister drew the attention of his colleagues to the statement of the head of state at the recent Asia-Europe Meeting in Brussels and to the proposed steps to restore confidence and overcome differences between the major powers.

The interest of British diplomats is particularly focused on economic processes in the region and the dynamics of attracting foreign direct investment in the Kazakh economy.

Mr. Abdrakhmanov noted the active role of the UK in the international arena, and the effective cooperation of the two countries within the framework of the UN Security Council. An important factor in the development of interaction is the regular contact at the highest level and the constant political dialogue between Astana and London. In this spirit, President Nazarbayev and British Prime Minister Theresa May met on the margins of the recent ASEM in Brussels.

In the context of regional development, the Kazakh side emphasized the important role of economic integration in the framework of the EAEU and the development of good-neighborly relations with the largest partners of Kazakhstan and Central Asia, i.e. Russia and China. In this regard, it was said that it was necessary to move away from bloc thinking and sanctions opposition because of their negative impact on the course of economic cooperation in Eurasia.

The forum noted the potential use of UK technologies and expertise in the projects in the Central Asian states related to the Belt and Road Initiative and other investment and infrastructure programmes.

In general, the sides emphasised the significant potential for deepening investment, trade and economic cooperation. The UK is among the ten largest trading partners of Kazakhstan in terms of turnover. In 2017, trade turnover amounted to $1.28 billion, while in the first six months of 2018 it had already reached $743.4 million. The UK is also among the six largest investors in Kazakhstan. Since 2005, the inflow of British direct investments has exceeded $12 billion. There are more than 600 companies with British participation operating in Kazakhstan.

Created at : 31.10.2018, 19:00, Updated at : 31.10.2018, 19:00