Being important partners, Kazakhstan and Romania bridge Europe and Central Asia, Ambassador

Being important partners, Kazakhstan and Romania bridge Europe and Central Asia, AmbassadorASTANA. January 3. KAZINFORM /Muratbek Makulbekov/ In his state-of-the-nation address as of January 28, 2011 President Nursultan Nazarbayev highlighted that Kazakhstan pursuing the foreign policy would maintain stability of commitments to investors, business community and the country’s policy would meet expectations of all partners.

Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of Romania to Kazakhstan Emil Rapcha told Kazinform Agency about the cooperation prospects with Kazakhstan.

Mr Ambassador, Romania is one of the key partners of Kazakhstan in Europe. Could you tell us about the prospects for further development of bilateral relations between our countries and Kazakhstan-EU cooperation?

Kazakhstan is one of the most important partners of Romania in Central Asia. President Nursultan Nazarbayev visited our country in 2007 and met with President Traian B?sescu. It was a successful economy-oriented visit. Good relations between the heads of state determine the relations between the nations. Romania was one of the first to support Kazakhstan’s candidacy for the OSCE chairmanship in 2010. The Presidents signed then five agreements on cooperation. Romanian Head of State took part in the OSCE Summit in Astana early December 2010.

Rapid commodity turnover growth speaks for successful development of Kazakh-Romanian ties. In 2007 Romania exported goods to Kazakhstan to the amount of 40 mln dollars, in 2008- 60 mln dollars, in 2010- 115 mln dollars. Last year the same figures were already reached in September. It is expected the Romanian export to Kazakhstan will hit 150 mln in 2011. Kazakhstan’s export to Kazakhstan grows steadily as well.

It is noteworthy, KazMunaiGas owns the largest oil company of the East Europe, RomPetrol. Kazakh oil runs through RomPetrol and thus Romania plays an important role in supplying the EU with energy products. Kazakhstan ships oil to Europe via the shortest route though the Caspian and Black Seas.  Besides, Kazakhstan and Romania are the most important partners and a bridge between Europe and Central Asian region.

The countries signed agreements on cooperation in all the key areas such as economics, education, justice and tourism. In the first half of 2012 President Nursultan Nazarbayev is expected to pay a visit to Romania. The parties will sign documents, including agreement on cooperation in defense sphere. Last October an economic mission from Romania arrived in Kazakhstan, the Kazakh mission visited Romania in November to negotiate cooperation.

How do the Romanian businessmen asses Kazakhstan’s business climate?

Up till now no businessmen told about any difficulties, including those related to Kazakhstan’s legislation.  They are interested in government support to business. The point at issue is that the small and medium business cannot implement large projects by itself; the entrepreneurs expect the government support in such cases. There are some information technologies companies willing to enter the Kazakhstani market.

Besides, I would like to note the wise policy aimed at increasing Kazakhstan’s content.

Our countries tune also up cultural cooperation. Romanian musicians appeared before the footlights of Kazakhstan. I plan this year to host A week of Romania in Astana and Almaty to mark the 20th anniversary since the establishment of diplomatic relations between Kazakhstan and Romania. Romanian delegations will arrive in Kazakhstan to take part in all forums to be held here.

Our country announced its intention to strengthen bilateral relations with Kazakhstan. During an annual meeting of Romania’s ambassadors in Bucharest President Traian B?sescu said “Establishment of stable relations with the countries of the Caspian region is one the priorities of the country’s foreign policy and our relations with Kazakhstan are strengthening day after day.  And this work should move forward.”

The Presidents stressed the need to widen cooperation beyond oil and gas sector. Romania has practice and technologies to help Kazakhstan implement the State Forced Industrial and Innovation Development Programme. We can also extend cooperation in education. Several students of Kazakhstan are studying currently in Romania. Oil and gas cooperation gives opportunities for the widening of cooperation, for example, Kazakhstanis working in RomPetrol bring their families and friends and start interaction in other spheres.

We believe, Kazakhstan creates god conditions for investments. Besides, the past world crisis gave an impulse to the European countries to develop cooperation with other regions. Authorities of the European countries start elaborating new economic cooperation strategies and, to my thinking, too much will change in 2-3 years to come.

Kazakhstan will hold parliamentary elections on January 15. Will Romanian parliamentarians monitor the election campaign?

Sure, as the representatives of the friendly country they will take part in monitoring. Our observers monitored the presidential elections held last April and gave favorable praises of the preparations and election campaign.