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Addressing the Forum participants, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev noted that the Berlin Eurasian Club, which was established on the initiative of the First President Nursultan Nazarbayev, has proved its importance.
“This dialogue platform offers great opportunities to discuss a wide range of socio-political and economic issues related to the Kazakh-German and Kazakh-European relations. This is our country’s first project of its kind in Europe and we believe that in the conditions of global instability its role will only be increasing," the Head of State said.
In his opinion, over the past three years, the geopolitical, geo-economic policies in the world have gone through remarkable changes. Sanctions and trade restrictions increasingly replace traditional diplomacy tools.
“The world economy faces such chronic diseases as disproportion in the development of countries and regions, technological inequality, vulnerability of the global financial system. In these challenging conditions foreign economic and trade policy of our country is transparent, pragmatic and simple - Kazakhstan is still open for mutually beneficial cooperation with unions, countries and companies,” Kassym-Jomart Tokayev stressed.
Speaking about the priorities of Kazakhstan's foreign policy, the President emphasized that relations with the European Union are of paramount importance for us.
“We pay very close attention to what is happening in Europe and maintain a steady constructive dialogue with European leaders. Kazakhstan will continue to support EU’s new approaches regarding Central Asia region. Obviously, in our interaction with Europe due to many reasons, economic, historical, cultural, the Kazakh-German relations are the ones that stand out,” the Head of State is convinced.
Kassym-Jomart Tokayev presented the growing investment potential of Kazakhstan to the forum participants.
“Our close integration with neighbors provides convenient access to adjacent markets. Today more than 500 million people live in the immediate vicinity of our borders. Within the Eurasian Economic Union we want to get benefit from the four freedoms – movement of goods, services, capital and workforce. We will continue to work closely with our closest neighbours in Central Asia. Therefore, German companies that are already present in Kazakhstan will have the opportunity to enter new markets for them,” the President said.
President said that the government is ready to support attracting German investment in agriculture, high technology and digital services.
"We have adopted a dedicated governmental program - Digital Kazakhstan. German Fraunhofer Institute assisted us in developing the program. To assist start-ups from across the region we established the Astana start-up hub and a brand new IT university. We hope that in 3-4 years’ time we will have a pool of technological and IT talent in our country. Generally, we are ready for cooperation in the field of digitalization both at the level of government structures and at the level of individual companies," the Head of State said.
Kassym-Jomart Tokayev once again focused on the fact that Germany is a strategic partner of Kazakhstan, so the country is ready to provide an appropriate support to German business.
“We are prepared to provide you with maximum of existing preferences, including tax-free regime in special economic zones, expedited provision of land plots and infrastructure and so on. I have set a task for Kazakh invest and The Kazakhstan Foreign Direct Investment Fund to open special German desks. They will be working specifically with German investors,” the President said.
Baiterek holding and the Development Bank of Kazakhstan will also assist German business in implementing projects.
“These measures are new to our system. We have not granted them to any other country. I truly hope that with the right approach and attitude, the Government and investors will make them work,” Kassym-Jomart Tokayev underscored.
The event, which was held at the AXICA Congress center in Berlin, was attended by senior officials of the German Government, experts, journalists and more than 250 representatives of German business.