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On 17 May, Mr Erlan Idrissov, the non-resident Ambassador of Kazakhstan to the Republic of Ireland, presented his credentials to Mr Michael D. Higgins, the President of Ireland and conveyed on to him the greetings of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Mr. Nursultan Nazarbayev.
The Ambassador's meeting with the Irish President was held following a ceremony which focused on bilateral trade and economic and investment co-operation. It also centred on the development of bilateral relationships in the areas of IT, digitisation, as well as education and innovation.
The Ambassador briefed President Higgins on the broad economic and political reforms taking place as part of the modernisation programme of Kazakhstan. These included the President of Kazakhstan's State of the Nation address entitled 'New Opportunities under the Fourth Industrial Revolution'; the opening of the Astana International Financial Centre, as well as the Centre for Green Technologies and the International Tech Start Up Hub "Astana Hub", all of which have now opened on the former international "EXPO-2017" site.
President Higgins highly appreciated the development of Kazakhstan under the leadership of its President, Mr Nursultan Nazarbayev, as well as Kazakhstan's role in strengthening international peace and security.
The Ambassador's visit included meetings with Mr Niall Burgess, Secretary General of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Mr F. Smith, Director, UN issues, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, as well as with representatives from the Irish business community.
Representatives of the Irish political and business communities stressed that Kazakhstan was a key driver of economic development in Central Asia and a leader of many international projects, including a centre for stability and integration, as well as a venue for global political and economic events.
Ambassador Idrissov once again thanked Ireland for its support of Kazakhstan's candidacy for membership of the UN Security Council and informed the President of the fruitful results of Kazakhstan's work as part of the organisation. Ambassador Idrissov emphasised that given Ireland's experience in developing single state management of innovation, Kazakhstan was interested in co-operation in the area of IT programmes in education and the development of startups and innovations. He also highlighted the desire to further expand bilateral treaties.
The visit of Ambassador Idrissov to Ireland ended with a reception, which was attended by Minister of State for Higher Education of Ireland, Mary Mitchell O'Connor T.D., Irish Senators Paddy Burke and Frank Feighan, the Ambassadors accredited in Ireland, senior officials of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Honorary Consul of Kazakhstan to Ireland Mr Arthur French, as well as members from the Irish business community.