PM Alikhan Smailov, UK Foreign Minister James Cleverly meet in Astana
ASTANA. KAZINFORM Prime Minister Alikhan Smailov has met today with UK Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs James Cleverly, who arrived in Astana for his first official visit, Kazinform reports.
According to primeminister.kz, the sides discussed a wide range of issues such as increasing mutual trade, attraction of investments, development of international transport corridors, business support, interaction in energy and education etc.
The Head of the Kazakh Government noted that Great Britain had been one of the key trade and investment partners of Kazakhstan on the European continent. Last year, commodity turnover between the two countries rose almost by 60% having surpassed 1.8 billion US dollars. Besides, the UK has been among the top 10 investors of Kazakhstan: since 2005, it has injected nearly 16.5 billion US dollars of direct investments in the republic.
«The Government of Kazakhstan is interested in further deepening of the interaction with Great Britain in all areas. In this context, the adoption of the Kazakh-British agreement on the strategic partnership and cooperation, which is on a final stage of development, will become an important step,» Alikhan Smailov said.
He added that as part of mutual trade expansion, Kazakhstan is ready to ramp up the export of more than 100 commodity items to Great Britain worth around 800 million US dollars. As for energy sector, the country is interested in implementation of joint projects in green hydrogen production, and in logistics – in further development of the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route.
Alongside, the Kazakh Prime Minister told the British Minister about the work on improvement of the conditions for the attraction of investments and doing business in the country. In particular, he informed about the development of the new Tax Code, the measures of reduction of administrative burden on entrepreneurs and digitalization as well as on the AIFC advantages.
In turn, James Cleverly highlighted that Kazakhstan had been one of the major trade partners of Great Britain in Central Asia and confirmed his country’s readiness to strengthen cooperation in all mutually beneficial spheres.
«Great Britain and Kazakhstan enjoy good relations, which are strong enough. This allows us to discuss what else we can do and what prospects are opened for us in the future,» James Cleverly said.
The memorandums of strategic partnership between Kazakhstan and Great Britain in development of green hydrogen and critical minerals were signed at end of the meetings.