In line with strategic partnership

July 02. Kazpravda

By Yulia Polonskaya

In line with strategic partnershipAt Akorda President Nursultan Nazarbayev was in talks with the UK Prime Minister David Cameron, who arrived in Kazakhstan on a state visit.

It is the first state visit of the head of the British Government to our country. This, as well as the signing of the first joint declaration on strategic partnership is a historic event to us.

– Our country is interested in close relations with the UK. It is good that your visit started with Atyrau – Kazakhstan’s leading oil region. I am sure that the documents prepared for signing and our negotiations will give a new impetus for economic and political cooperation, -Nursultan Nazarbayev told David Cameron.

Great Britain is one of the largest partners of Kazakhstan. Our country has about 600 companies with British capital in various industries. Traditionally cooperation goes on in the energy sector. Bilateral sales volume of 2012 is 2.3 billion dollars, in the first four months of this year it is 610 million, which is 15.7% more on-year. In recent years the United Kingdom is the third investor in Kazakhstan (after the Netherlands and the United States). According to the National Bank of Kazakhstan, in the last 20 years, the total amount of direct British investment in Kazakhstan is 11.7 billion dollars.

In the press conference after the bilateral talks, President Nursultan Nazarbayev named energy as traditionally important to our country cooperation area.

– UK companies are actively involved in the “Karachaganak” project, in the increase of the Caspian Pipeline Consortium capacity and the development of the “Pearl” block. Together with Mr. Cameron, in Atyrau we have launched a most important production facility of the North-Caspian project – “Bolashak” oil and gas refinery.

This opens the possibility of commercial production at one of the world’s largest oil fields – Kashagan. Construction of an integrated chemical complex in Atyrau region is in the second phase. These and other projects have played an important part in development of the energy industry in Kazakhstan. We are ready to further strengthen energy dialogue with the UK on the formula “raw materials in exchange for investments and advanced technology,” – said the President.

As he reminded, last year was 20th on the record of diplomatic relations between our two countries. And in the new stage it is possible to significantly strengthen cooperation. Conductive to it is UK’s listing Kazakhstan among 14 priority countries to enhance mutual trade with, also the agreement on enhancing cooperation in renewable energy and “green” economy. EXPO-2017 themed “Energy of the Future” that Kazakhstan will be hosting, gives ample opportunity for it too. The President invited British companies to share in the international exhibition.

N.Nazarbayev also said that in the talks cooperation in transport, namely in civil aviation and space projects was brought up.

– We will continue to take steps to improve flight safety and expand the geography of “Air Astana” European routes, and we acclaim the signing of the contract between NC “Kazakhstan Gharysh Sapary” and the British company SSTL to create a new satellite and on technology transfer, – said Nursultan Nazarbayev.

Another momentous area is liberalization of the visa regime between the Republic of Kazakhstan and the United Kingdom. Our country has simplified visa issuance to British citizens and expects reciprocal steps.

Responding to journalists’ questions, Mr. Cameron said Kazakhstan is one of the rising economic powers in the world and important to British business interests.

He praised Kazakhstan’s part in the Afghan settlement and in hosting negotiations on the Iranian issue.