Kazakh President Nazabayev furthers EU-Kazakhstan Partnership and Cooperation during recent visit to Brussels
Wednesday, 06 April 2016
Kazakshtan's President Nursultan Nazarbayev met with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker last week in Brussels
Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev came to Brussels last week to meet with the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker. One of the main topics discussed was the implementation of the recently signed partnership agreement between Kazakhstan and the EU, the so called “Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement” (EPCA). The agreement is the first between EU and a Central Asian country.
The focus was on the completion of procedures and to start the application of the agreement between Kazakhstan and the EU. It allows for significant reductions of trade barriers and also outlines programmes for increased scientific, cultural and academic collaborations.
The removal of trade barriers is foreseen to be a major boost for Kazakhstan’s economy, given that the EU market accounts for half of Kazakhstan’s foreign trade. “On May 1, we can start to temporarily use the economic side of the EPCA. Today, I asked Junker to speed up the ratification of the agreement among EU member states,” Nazarbayev noted.
As the cross-bridge between China and Europe, Kazakhstan also plays an important role in the upcoming silk-road infrastructure project which aims to connect Asian and European economies closer via improved roads, giving alternatives to the long maritime routes. As the 9th largest country in the world, a large part of the road and train infrastructure will cross Kazakhstan’s territory.
The two leaders also discussed the upcoming EXPO 2017 in Astana which will focus on the theme of “Future Energy”. President Nazarbayev welcomed Juncker’s support of bringing European companies, policy makers and scientists to show case the latest solutions in alternative and renewable energies, and to share best practises.
The president also paid special tribute to the victims of the Brussels terror attacks stopping by the Maelbeek metro station. Speaking to Brussels minister Guy Vanhengel, he expressed his condolences and wish for the speedy recovery of those affected. “Kazakhstan condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, and mourns together with the Belgian people.”, Nazarbayev said.