During the meeting, which is alternately held each year in each of the five Central Asian countries, British ambassadors and Kazakhstan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Kairat Abdrakhamanov, explored the potential for further bilateral and multilateral cooperation in areas including investment and trade.
The two sides discussed the prospect of using British technology and expertise in the implementation of projects related to China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), as well as other planned infrastructure programs.
According to the Kazakh MFA’s press service, the representatives from the UK showed a particular interest in the international and regional initiatives introduced by the Kazakh President, Nursultan Nazarbayev, and in the dynamics of foreign direct investment in the country. They confirmed their intention that both countries should look to strengthen cooperation where there is mutual interest.
Mr. Abdrakhamanov underlined the importance of deepening economic integration with the other countries of the EAEU and fostering productive relationships with Russia and China, with which Kazakhstan shares borders.
He added that it was crucial that London and Astana maintain a political dialogue, citing President Nazarbayev’s meeting with the British Prime Minister, Theresa May, on the sidelines of the ASEM Summit in Brussels on October 19th.
Kazakh Invest, the national company for attracting inward investment to Kazakhstan, is at the forefront of leading the investment charge amongst British business. Kazakh Invest hosted a high-level event in London in October which was attended by almost 300 senior business leaders.
The UK is one of Kazakhstan’s top ten partners in terms of trade turnover. Between January and July 2018, trade turnover came to $743.4 million. In 2017, total trade turnover came to $1.28 billion.
The UK is also among the six largest investors in Kazakhstan. Since 2005, British companies have directly invested more than $12 billion into Kazakhstan, and more than 600 UK companies are currently operating in the country.
Kazakh Invest was established by the Government of Kazakhstan to support foreign direct investment into the country. From establishing links with local companies to supporting project maintenance and coordination, it provides a wide range of services to facilitate investment, acting as a ‘one-stop shop’ for all investment queries and needs.