The EU-Kazakhstan High-Level Platform of dialogue on economic and business matters held its first meeting on 1 July in Nur-Sultan, chaired by Kazakhstan Prime Minister Askar Mamin. The meeting was also attended by leading European companies and EU Heads of Mission led by the EU Ambassador to Kazakhstan Sven-Olov Carlsson. “The High-Level Platform between the European Union, its businesses and the Kazakh Government is important for regular exchange of views,” Carlsson said in his opening speech.
With the Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement, the EU and Kazakhstan have developed a framework for further strengthening trade and economic relations. The EU supports Kazakhstan’s ambitious reform and modernisation processes, including the improvement of the business climate.
During the meeting, both parties discussed issues of common interest, including reducing technical barriers to trade, notably in the agro-food sector, as well as issues related to tax legislation. The European Union is Kazakhstan’s first trading partner and represents more than half of foreign direct investment in Kazakhstan.
The EU is Kazakhstan’s first trading partner and represents more than half of foreign direct investment in Kazakhstan. The EU represents over one third of Kazakhstan’s external trade and over half of total foreign direct investment in Kazakhstan. With over 75% of oil exports going to the EU (representing approximately 6% of total EU imports), Kazakhstan is already the third largest non-member of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries supplier for the EU. From the EU, Kazakhstan imports machinery, transport equipment and pharmaceuticals, alongside chemical products, plastics, medical devices and furniture.
The EU-Kazakhstan Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement, signed in Nur-Sultan on 21 December 2015 and provisionally application since 1 May 2016, aims at creating a better regulatory environment for businesses in areas such as trade in services, establishment and operation of companies, capital movements, raw materials and energy, intellectual property rights. It is a tool of regulatory convergence between Kazakhstan and the EU, with some “WTO plus” provisions, notably on public procurement.
The next meeting is preliminary scheduled for autumn this year.