Cooperation in a multilateral format

Nov 13. Kazpravda

By Laura Tusupbekova

Cooperation in a multilateral formatYesterday the Senate chairman K.Tokayev held talks with the President of the Council of States of the Swiss Confederation Filippo Lombardi, who arrived in Astana on an official visit.

K.Tokayev emphasized the importance of Switzerland to Kazakhstan as a political and economic partner in Europe, affinity of the two countries’ positions on modern global issues, and successful cooperation within multilateral structures.

In late November Bern is hosting the first meeting of the Inter-Parliamentary Group “Switzerland – Kazakhstan”. This group, K. Tokayev believes, could largely facilitate the exchange of legislative experience in the green economy, renewable energy, and in fighting corruption, cross-border crime, extremism and terrorism.

Conductive to the strengthening of economic cooperation between the two countries, according to the speakers, is the Kazakh- Swiss Business Council and the Swiss — Kazakh intergovernmental commission on trade and economic cooperation. The 2012 sales between Kazakhstan and Switzerland make 5.2 billion dollars.

The same day during a meeting in the Kazakh Senate, F. Lombardi shared his impressions of Astana development, calling it “Manhattan in the steppe”.

– I can only imagine what political vision and determination it took to implement such a wonderful project. He noted Kazakhstan’s growing role in the international arena, and that the country has become a reliable partner both on a regional and global level. In its potential to build bridges, Astana and Geneva have similarities, he added.

While chairing the OSCE in 2014, Switzerland intends to use the experience of Kazakhstan in this mission, particularly important in the Eurasian context.

F.Lombardi welcomed the hosting by Astana of the EXPO -2017, themed “Future Energy.” This theme points to the country’s awareness of the challenges and responsibilities that are part of the evolution on the way to becoming a leading economic nation, he said.

The Swiss Senate chairman called for further promotion of the Kazakh-Swiss inter-parliamentary cooperation, which would solve the practical problems of mutual interest. There are Swiss companies operating in Kazakhstan in the energy sector, in manufacturing equipment, textile industry, the financial and insurance services and other areas. And established this year Kazakhstan- Swiss Business Council will hopefully stimulate further the growth of mutual investments.

The speaker expressed his appreciation of K.Tokayev’s mission as Director General of the UN Office in Geneva.

The talks and meetings were also attended by Kazakhstan senators and the two countries’ ambassadors — Mukhtar Tleuberdi and Mauro Reyna.