Strengthening of Kazakhstan-UK comprehensive partnership discussed in Astana
ASTANA. KAZINFORM UK Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs James Cleverly is paying his first official visit to Kazakhstan today. During his working program Secretary Cleverly was received by Kazakhstan’s President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev and Prime Minister Alikhan Smailov, and also held talks with Deputy Foreign Minister Roman Vassilenko to compare notes on topical bilateral and multilateral issues, the press office of he Kazakh MFA reported.
A key aspect of the visit was signing several bilateral documents aimed at further strengthening political, economic, trade and investment cooperation between Kazakhstan and the UK. In particular, the two sides signed a Memorandum of Understanding on a strategic partnership in the field of critical minerals, a Memorandum of Understanding on a strategic partnership on green hydrogen, and a Memorandum of Understanding on the joint implementation of the World Bank’s Effective Governance for Economic Development (EGED) program.
During the meetings, the parties expressed readiness to sign a new bilateral Strategic Partnership and Cooperation Agreement in the near future, designed to promote trade, investment, sustainable development, education, culture and other areas.
During the meeting at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan, the parties exchanged views on the entire spectrum of Kazakh-British cooperation: from the state of economic cooperation and prospects for further growth in trade, which grew to $1.8 billion last year, to closer mutually beneficial cooperation in education and exchanges of research in the field of carbon neutral development.
A special topic for discussion pertained to the opening of local branches of leading UK universities in Kazakhstan and the implementation of joint education and double-degree programs. At present, our country is already hosting a branch of De Montfort University and plans to open a branch of Heriot-Watt University.
Secretary Cleverly expressed support for the course of reforms within the framework of building a Just Kazakhstan and wished our country further success on the path of political and socio-economic development.
The visit also saw the opening of a city square in honor of Queen Elizabeth II, a tour of the Astana International Financial Center, and a conversation with Kazakh graduates of British universities. During the cultural program, the British delegation was acquainted with Kazakhstan’s history, customs, and national cuisine.
Over the course of more than 30 years of cooperation Britain has remained one of Kazakhstan’s key trade and economic partners, having invested more than $16 billion in our economy. Some 550 companies, joint ventures, and representative offices with British capital are currently operating on the Kazakh market.