ASTANA, March 11, 2019 –Foreign Minister of Kazakhstan Beibut Atamkulov recently received French Ambassador to Kazakhstan Philippe Martiné and Spanish Ambassador to Kazakhstan David Carriedo. The diplomats discussed bilateral political relations and the identification of new trade and investment projects, involving the transfer of European technology and increased investment into the Kazakh economy. Moreover, the new European Union Strategy for Central Asia was comprehensively discussed.
The sides outlined the further development of cooperation between Kazakhstan and France, as well as preparation for the visit of French President Emmanuel Macron and French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian to Kazakhstan. The heads of the two states agreed on the visit of French President to Kazakhstan in the second half of this year during a meeting on the margins of the ASEM Summit in October 2018.
France is an important strategic partner of Kazakhstan in the European Union. “The leaders of our countries have identified agriculture, renewable energy and digital technology as priority areas of cooperation. I am certain that our cooperation will gain a new impetus,” Mr. Atamkulov said.
The French Ambassador noted that the ongoing development of relations with Astana was one of the priorities of French diplomacy in the region. Mr. Martiné shared his plans for strengthening cultural, humanitarian and economic cooperation.
At the meeting with Mr. Carriedo, the two sides discussed Kazakh-Spanish relations, outlining promising areas for further cooperation.
It was noted that King Felipe's visit to Astana in June 2017 and his talks with Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev had promoted the progressive development of bilateral cooperation with Spain, and also confirmed the close relationship which Kazakhstan has established with the Spanish royal family.
The sides confirmed their intention to expand bilateral trade and economic cooperation in all areas of mutual interest.
The Kazakh Foreign Minister expressed hope that the upcoming business forum involving Kazakh and Spanish companies in the Spanish capital on 19-20 March this year would pave the way for the implementation of new joint projects in various economic sectors. The sides highlighted the potential of deepening cooperation across digitalisation, infrastructure projects, and agriculture.
The sides agreed that regular political consultations between the Foreign Ministries of Kazakhstan and Spain in March 2019 in Madrid would contribute to the further development of extensive interaction within existing and new mechanisms for bilateral cooperation.
Note to editor. France is one of the main European investors in Kazakhstan. From 2005 to the 3rd quarter of 2018, the inflow of investment from France to Kazakhstan amounted to $14.1 billion. The trade turnover in 2018 reached $4.5 billion, which is 32.5% more than in the previous year. Today, there are 105 French capital enterprises operating in Kazakhstan. From 2005 to the 3rd quarter of 2018, the gross inflow of direct investment from Spain to Kazakhstan amounted to $205.4 million. The trade turnover between Kazakhstan and Spain in 2018 reached $2.041 billion, which is 16.8% more than in 2017. 66 enterprises with Spanish capital are registered in Kazakhstan. During the talks, the sides touched upon the activities of a number of French and Spanish companies in Kazakhstan: Total, Orano, Alstom, Airbus, Air Liquide, Idemia, Iveco, Indra, Talgo.