Kazakhstan has sought to improve its ongoing relationships with several central Asian nations in hopes of achieving co-operation in multiple facets of the economy. Following several meeting between Kazakhstan’s governmental departments and foreign representatives, real progress has been made in the areas of tourism, trade, entrepreneurship and transport, among many others.
Tajikistan, a relatively small central Asian nation, has recently signed an agreement with Kazakhstan to foster commodity trade between them. The national export insurance company of Kazakhstan has agreed with Tajikistan’s major banks to extend credit limits for importers purchasing non-primary products (technology, copper etc) from Kazakh manufacturers. This agreement saw trade turnover between the nations increase by 46.9% to reach $1.2 billion.
Kazakhstan has also met with Georgia for discussions relating to the Trans-Caspian international transport route, which plays a key role in connecting central and eastern Asia to Europe. Both nations agreed that they would seek to remove infrastructural constraints on railway sections and seaports and well as reduce existing tariffs. Additionally, a memorandum of understanding between the Astana Hub International Technopark of IT Start-ups and Georgia’s Innovation and Technology Agency and a memorandum of mutual co-operation between the railways of Georgia and Kazakhstan were signed by both nations.
Russia is set to be the next country Kazakhstan’s president Tokayev aims to work with, which will be a difficult task with ongoing international sanctions and tensions with the regional super-power over the Ukraine conflict.
After the successful collaboration with the United States on female entrepreneurship earlier this year, which can be found here, Kazakhstan has expanded its attempts to achieve intergovernmental co-operation beyond central and eastern Asia.
August of 2022 marked 30 years of bilateral diplomatic relations with Israel, a partnership that has seen both nations’ economies continuously “complement” each other as relatively newly independent nations, according to Israel’s Ambassador to Kazakhstan, Edwin Nathan Yabo Glusman. This can be seen in the 93 active enterprises with Israeli participation in Kazakhstan, accounting for $224 million in revenue in 2021. While these numbers are already significant, there are plans going forward to expand these even further. In addition to introducing direct flights, collaborative work on water management, cybersecurity and agriculture are all set to become focuses of bilateral co-operation between the nations. Additionally, Kazakhstan is set to start exporting 70 different goods to Israel, with a value of over $360m. All of these planned ventures are set to run in collaboration with the Astana Hub, combining the collective knowledge and experience of each country’s brightest minds.
Andorra is another nation that Kazakhstan has sought to strengthen its relations with. The nations signed a bilateral visa exemption agreement, allowing 90 days of visa-free travel to Andorra for Kazakh citizens. This agreement is aimed at increasing tourism in Andorra, while providing future economic and investment opportunities for Kazakhstan in Andorra.
Singapore has sought new economic opportunities with Kazakhstan in the fields of transport, transit and digital information. The recent meeting between Singapore’s president and Kazakhstan’s Deputy Prime Minister highlighted the successes of bilateral trade between the nations, with over $1 billion in turnover in 2021 alone. The Kazakhstan-Singapore Business Council launched to facilitate commerce, investment and tourism in both nations.
Relations with one nation in particular may have the greatest international impact in the months to come. Following an official statement from Kazakhstan’s Foreign Ministry, Kazakhstan has issued its support for the ‘One China’ policy, firmly reinforcing its relationship with the regional superpower and recognising China as the only legitimate representative of China to the United Nations.
Kazakhstan is continuously seeking to strengthen its relationships with other countries, in an attempt to both foster its international image and develop its growing economy. All of these meetings can be seen as positive efforts to promote both domestic and international commerce in Kazakhstan.
Author – Matt Davies
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