NUR-SULTAN, May 15, 2019 The development of comprehensive relations with the United States is one of the top priorities of Kazakhstan's foreign policy. The current state of cooperation reflects the consistent political dialogue and efforts at all levels towards this aim.
It is significant that the US was one of the first countries to recognize the independence of modern Kazakhstan in the post-Soviet space.
Currently, Kazakh-American cooperation is determined by the agreements reached following the official visit of the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev to the US in January 15-18, 2018.
The official visit of First President Nazarbayev to the US was an important milestone in the development of the Kazakh-American strategic partnership, and gave a new impetus to further development of the multidimensional cooperation between Nur-Sultan and Washington. In particular, the leaders of the two countries decided to establish an enhanced strategic partnership between Kazakhstan and the US. The outcomes of the visit, the scope and depth of the talks, and their confidential nature clearly demonstrate the close nature of relations between the US and Kazakhstan, and the expressed intention to consistently expand interaction in all areas of cooperation, in the interest of both countries.
Despite the fragility of the world economy, American companies continue to show interest in the Kazakh market. In recent years, such companies as Primus Power, Spancrete, Uber, Starbucks, McDonalds and Netflix have entered Kazakhstan.
Ensuring an effective environment for economic cooperation between the US and Central Asia is regularly discussed within the council regarding a trade and investment framework agreement between the US and the region.
More than 70 interstate, intergovernmental and interagency agreements have been signed between the countries in the past 25 years.
Following the recent constructive dialogue between Kazakhstan and the US, and on the eve of the Astana Economic Forum, on May 15 of this year the 3rd Annual Kazakhstan-American Business Forum, themed “Competitive Kazakhstan”, was held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan.
The event was attended by Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan Beibut Atamkulov, Minister of Industry and Infrastructure Development Roman Sklyar, Minister of Healthcare Yelzhan Birtanov, Minister of Agriculture Saparkhan Omarov, Minister of Digital Development, Defense and Aerospace Industry Askar Zhumagaliyev, as well as representatives of 28 large American companies, including Coca Cola, Gilead, HP, Microsoft, and Valley.
This platform presented the opportunity to learn about the measures of the Government of Kazakhstan to further improve the business environment in the country, including the creation of a single ecosystem for working with foreign investors, as well as the implementation of state programs on modernization, diversification and digitalization of the economy.
The forum organizers, the Kazakh Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Business Council for International Understanding (BCIU) focused on new promising areas of bilateral partnership, including industrial and infrastructure development, health, agriculture, information technology, digitalization, aerospace and energy.
“The new leadership of the country is focused on preserving the continuity of the political and economic course, as well as the systematic implementation of measures to strengthen cooperation with strategic partners of Kazakhstan. The US is one of the main partners of Kazakhstan. On January 16, 2018, in the White House, the leaders of our countries adopted a Joint Statement on the Enhanced Strategic Partnership of Kazakhstan and the United States in the 21st Century, in which both sides pledged to fully develop the potential of mutual investment and trade and economic cooperation,” said Mr. Atamkulov.
In his speech, the Foreign Minister also expressed confidence that the forum would open up new opportunities for the development of American business in Kazakhstan.
This year's Kazakhstan Competitiveness Forum has been a useful platform for discussing the implementation of commercial agreements and projects between Kazakhstan and the US.
In recent years, there have been high levels of direct investment from the US to Kazakhstan; last year it amounted to $5.3 billion, an increase of 44.7% compared with 2017 ($3.6 billion).
Kazakhstan's economy has received about $40 billion foreign investment from the US since 2005.
There are about 524 companies with US capital operating in Kazakhstan, of which 141 are joint ventures, 41 are engaged in the production of goods and 37 companies export products to other countries.
Last year, the trade turnover between the two countries amounted to more than $2.2 billion. Exports from Kazakhstan to the US reached $956 million, while imports into Kazakhstan from the US went up to $ 1.2 billion.
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