Kazakh-British intergovernmental commission meets in London
The state and prospects of bilateral cooperation between Kazakhstan and the United Kingdom were discussed at the 9th meeting of the Kazakh-British Intergovernmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific, Technical, and Cultural Cooperation (IGC), El.kz cites MFA.
The Intergovernmental Commission was co-chaired by the Deputy Foreign Minister of Kazakhstan Almas Aidarov and Minister of State for Investment of the United Kingdom Lord Dominic Johnson.
The parties reviewed the results of the IGC's activities over the past year and discussed new areas of bilateral cooperation based on working group meetings. In particular, they discussed interaction in trade, economy, investments, agriculture, pharmaceuticals, energy, education, etc.
At the initiative of the Kazakh side, issues of support and development of cooperation in the field of renewable energy sources and critical raw materials and rare earth metals were raised.
During the meeting, Aidarov said that the development of large-scale and mutually beneficial cooperation with the UK is one of our main priorities.
The UK has been one of our main economic partners for many years, investing over 20 billion US dollars in Kazakhstan's economy. Investments from the UK have not only shown stability in recent years, despite the negative impact of the pandemic and geopolitical instability but also an increase of 36% in 2020 and 20% in 2021. FDI in the economy of Kazakhstan in the first nine months of 2022 reached 529 million US dollars.
Kazakhstan now has 600 British companies operating in sectors ranging from oil and gas, mining to agriculture, infrastructure to education, and financial and professional services to high-tech. For example, major companies such as Royal Dutch Shell and Ernst&Young are members of the Foreign Investors Council under the President of Kazakhstan.
The positive dynamics of bilateral trade were also noted - in 2022, the volume of trade increased by 58.7% - from 1.2 billion to 1.8 billion US dollars.
Kazakhstani exports rose by 71% to 1.5 billion, exports increased by 71% and amounted to 1.5 billion US dollars, and imports increased by 24.4% to $ 384.3 million.
The partners noted that the forthcoming signing of the Kazakh-British agreement on strategic partnership and cooperation will strengthen economic relations and create favorable conditions for the expansion of trade and investments.
In March of this year, official Astana expects a visit of UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverley and several other high-ranking officials of the United Kingdom.
During the meeting, Almas Aidarov and Lord Dominic Johnson noted the dynamic and progressive development of Kazakh-British relations and confirmed the intention of both parties to broaden and strengthen their partnership by increasing trade, economic, technological, and investment cooperation in priority sectors.
One of the key outcomes of the IGC was the signing of a Memorandum of Cooperation between the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the British-Swedish biopharmaceutical company AstraZeneca in terms of long-term cooperation between the countries in the field of pharmaceuticals and healthcare. According to the signed document, the international biopharmaceutical company AstraZeneca intends to localize production in Kazakhstan.
Along with this, during the visit to London bilateral meetings were held between Almas Aidarov and heads of such British companies as AstraZeneca, East Star Resources, and United Concrete Canvas, during which the cooperation in the pharmaceutical industry, geological exploration, and construction sphere was discussed in detail.