Friday, May 17, 2024
 
 

UK and Kazakhstan deepen strategic cooperation

Partnership agreement to boost education, critical minerals, climate change, trade ties
UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron, and Kazakhstan’s Foreign Minister Murat Nurtleu sign a Strategic Partnership and Cooperation Agreement in Astana, Kazakhstan, April 24, 2024.

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During a visit to Astana, UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron, and Kazakhstan’s Foreign Minister Murat Nurtleu signed a Strategic Partnership and Cooperation Agreement, opening the path to even deeper collaboration between the two countries across many sectors, including foreign policy, security, science, education, trade, investment, banking, critical minerals, energy and climate change. The agreement follows six years of negotiations.

During his meeting with Cameron on April 24, Kazakhstan’s President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev focused on the Strategic Partnership and Cooperation Agreement. “I am confident that this comprehensive document will definitely give a fresh boost to our multifaceted bilateral agenda,” Tokayev said. The President of Kazakhstan highlighted the potential for enhancing trade, economic and investment cooperation, including in energy, green economy, finance, and innovation.

Recalling his first visit to Kazakhstan as UK Prime Minister in 2013, Cameron noted that he came to the Central Asian country 11 years ago to start the strategic dialogue.  “It was great today with the Foreign Minister to sign the Strategic Partnership and Cooperation Agreement. I think we look across the partnership in energy, education, business, and cultural sectors and developing people to people change,” Cameron said.

Cameron discussed with Nurtleu issues of bilateral, regional, and international cooperation, as well as measures to enhance the entire spectrum of Kazakh-British relationship.

Nurtleu welcomed dynamic intergovernmental and inter-parliamentary contacts that have facilitated deepening of partnership in various sectors over the recent years and reconfirmed his readiness to broaden dialogue further between the foreign ministries of two countries. He underlined the importance of promoting institutional mechanism of cooperation, including the Strategic Dialogue and the Intergovernmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific, Technical and Cultural Cooperation.

For his part, Cameron noted that the UK pays great attention to developing cooperation with Kazakhstan as the key partner in Central Asia. He also expressed support for the ongoing reforms in Kazakhstan and the readiness of London to deepen its ties with Astana.

“This comprehensive agreement will be a significant step in taking political, trade and investment relations between Astana and London to new horizons… We believe our strong and mutually beneficial strategic partnership will continue to strengthen in all areas, from energy to rare metals, from ecology to education, Nurtleu said.

A number of bilateral documents in the sphere of healthcare and transport as well as Memoranda of Understanding on opening a branch of Queen’s University Belfast in Almaty and launching Kazakh language courses at Oxford University were also concluded during the visit.

On April 25, Cameron also inspected students’ startup projects at Fab Lab at Astana IT university, a thriving scholarly environment for 6,000 youngsters that seeks partnership with Birmingham University.

UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron visits the Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC) in Astana, Kazakhstan, on April 25, 2024.

Cameron also met with Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC)  Governor Renat Bekturov and Chris Campbell-Holt, Registrar of the AIFC Court, to discuss enhancing the investment climate and boosting economic growth.

Trade between Kazakhstan and the UK in 2023 reached USD 1.2 million. There are around 600 companies and joint ventures with British capital in Kazakhstan. The UK is among the top 10 foreign investors in Kazakhstan. Last year, Kazakhstan’s economy attracted 795 million in FDI from the UK and over 17 billion in total since 2005.

 

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