Trade turnover between Kazakhstan and the European Union increased by almost 30 percent between January and September 2018.
According to the Finprom news agency, turnover amounted to $28.6 billion in the first nine months of the year, a figure significantly higher than the $22 billion in turnover seen over the same period in 2017.
Kazakh exports to the EU were almost five times higher than imports. Between January and September, exports amounted to $23.6 billion; imports came to just $5 billion.
Among the main European importers of Kazakh products are Italy ($8.8 billion), the Netherlands ($4.8 billion) and France ($2.7 billion). Spain and Romania imported $1.5 billion and $1.1 billion, respectively, in imports.
The news reflects the EU’s growing share in Kazakh foreign trade. It now accounts for 41.9 percent of the total trade turnover of Kazakhstan. In 2016 it was 38.4 percent.
EU investment in Kazakhstan is also rising. In the first six months of 2018, the EU member countries invested just under $6 billion ($5.7 billion) in Kazakhstan, 14.2 percent more than during the same period the year before.
Kazakhstan has growing importance to the EU as an oil and gas supplier, and both parties have benefitted by considerable foreign direct investment in Kazakhstan’s oil and gas sector.
The EU is now Kazakhstan’s single biggest trade partner and investment partner. Almost half of all FDI inflow comes from the EU. There is a great deal of interest from EU companies in the next stage of the modernisation and diversification of the Kazakh economy. An increasing number of joint ventures in fields such as sustainable energy are expected to begin in the coming years.
Both countries have enjoyed deepening relations over the past few years, and President Nursultan Nazarbayev has consistently spoken highly of the EU, which provided the model for the Eurasian Economic Union.
Kazakh Invest, the national company for attracting high-quality FDI, has embarked on a series of roadshows in recent months to help attract global investors to Kazakhstan and highlight the country’s untapped potential.
European companies are some of the largest investors in Kazakhstan and operate across a range of industries, including petrochemicals, agribusiness, infrastructure, manufacturing and retail.
In January 2018, the EU and Kazakhstan celebrated a quarter of a century of diplomatic relations.
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.