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ASTANA, 8 October 2018 – The fifth meeting of the UK-Kazakhstan Intergovernmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific, Technical and Cultural Cooperation (IGC) was held in Astana under the chairmanship of Minister for Investment and Development of the Republic of Kazakhstan Zhenis Kassymbek and the UK Minister of State for Trade Policy George Hollingbery.
The meeting's participants, which included more than 50 representatives from UK business, reviewed the IGC results and outlined the main areas for developing multifaceted bilateral cooperation.
Prospects for cooperation in the oil and gas, financial, technological and mining sectors were discussed among others.
The co-chairs of the Commission noted the growth in trade turnover between the two countries: in 2017, it grew two percent, reaching $1.3 billion.
“The United Kingdom is one of Kazakhstan's main strategic and core partners in Europe. I would like to note with great pleasure the high dynamics of development of bilateral relations over the years, and high-level reciprocal visits play an important role here," said Mr. Kassymbek.
Mr. Hollingbery highlighted that the UK and Kazakhstan are developing cooperation in many areas, including education, oil and gas, mining, finance, chemicals, engineering, metals and mining and civil aviation.
“Today's meeting gives us the opportunity to strengthen our partnerships, open new areas for cooperation between the UK and Kazakhstan, as well as to promote the UK as a reliable partner for business," he added.
The IGC included meetings of the working groups on energy and subsoil use, a meeting of the leadership of the Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC) with the leadership of TheCityUK, and discussions on the issues of water management in rural areas, livestock development and waste management.
The branch of the UK Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport in Kazakhstan (CILT Kazakhstan) signed an agreement with Innovate UK to launch a research project aimed at integrating and developing UK and Kazakh transport and logistics systems.
The meeting resulted in the signing of a Protocol of the Fifth Meeting of the UK-Kazakhstan Intergovernmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific, Technical and Cultural Cooperation, which confirmed the parties' intention to continue strengthening the strategic partnership in all dimensions.
During the meeting of the British delegation with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan Kairat Abdrakhmanov, both sides confirmed their intention to strengthen bilateral trade and investment cooperation in all areas. The parties also agreed on the importance of expanding the UK-Kazakhstan-China business partnership. Such a partnership could be developed through “British technologies, Kazakh resources and Chinese investment" framework. This will allow the UK to enter the markets of Southeast Asia, China – to enter the markets of Europe, and Kazakhstan – to attract innovation technologies.
At the meeting of the British delegation with the Chairman of the Board of Samruk-Kazyna National Welfare Fund Akhmetzhan Yessimov, the Kazakh side invited British companies to play an active part in the privatisation programme. This is to be facilitated through the Kazakh-British Business Council, which is scheduled for December this year, as well as an investment forum in Astana next March with the participation of major British companies.
At a meeting with the AIFC Governor Kairat Kelimbetov, Minister Hollingbery noted the interest of British companies in participating in the AIFC. He also added that the UK would help the AIFC establish itself as a regional financial hub based on English common law.
The IGC and the meetings of the British delegation with their Kazakh counterparts confirmed the willingness of all parties to further expand their strategic partnership. It also allowed both sides to compare notes on the main aspects of trade and economic interaction.