Nazarbayev holds talks with King of Bahrain
April 15. Kazpravda
By Yulia MAGER
President Nursultan Nazarbayev has met with King of Bahrain Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, who arrived in Kazakhstan on an official visit.
In the talk between the two parties cooperation in trade, economic , financial, investment , transport, communication and agriculture areas was discussed, also interaction in various regional and international organizations. Views were exchanged on topical issues of the international agenda.
The Kazakh President expressed confidence that the first official visit of the King of Bahrain will contribute to the strengthening of bilateral relations, and flashed back to his visit to Bahrain in 1997, his fruitful talks with then king Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa, His Majesty’s father. – Various changes are taking place in both our regions, he added, expressing hope that discussion of the key issues of trade and economic cooperation at a joint business forum will further stimulate the relations’ development.
Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, thanking for the hospitality, noted a close cooperation of Kazakhstan with both Bahrain and the Gulf region as a whole.
During the enlarged meeting Nursultan Nazarbayev stressed that the parties will make every effort to bring the relations onto a higher plane. -A large delegation of Bahrain, who arrived in Astana with His Majesty, indicates confidence in the prospects of cooperation with our country, he said. Kazakhstan considers Bahrain an essential partner in the Gulf.
– The two nations have much in common. Interestingly, the Independence Day in both the countries is marked on the same date- 16 December – Nazarbayev observed.
He described the Kingdom as a regional financial hub, stressing that Bahrain’s economy and living standards have reached high levels in a historically short time thanks to the efficient leadership and sound policies of HM the King. Kazakhstan is rapidly developing too, and its GDP has reached USD 220 billion. The country has adopted the Development Strategy until 2050 and is implementing an industrial-innovative program.
The Kazakh President also pointed to the insufficiently high rates of bilateral trade, hoping that the visit of Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa would give an impetus to the cooperation development.
In turn, the King of Bahrain said his country is interested in close cooperation with Kazakhstan; development of relations is our common task, he said. He expressed satisfaction with the signed Memoranda of Understanding in diplomacy, food security, agriculture , finance, investment and education.
At the tallying up joint press conference, Nursultan Nazarbayev noted that the visit of the King of 22 Bahrain is of special momentum for development of friendship and cooperation between the two nations, appreciating the support of the Kingdom in the first years of our independence. Bahrain is one of the key states in the Arab world to us. Despite the long distance between the two countries, our relationship was never interrupted.
Speaking about the importance and fruitfulness of the talks, the President said that during the meeting the parties discussed various areas of the Kazakh- Bahraini cooperation. A number of inter-agency agreements have been signed covering priority cooperation areas. Given the relevance of food security, Kazakhstan proposes to establish cooperation with Bahrain in agriculture. A joint investment fund is to be established to support the industrial -innovative development program. Bahrain has extensive experience in development of the aluminum industry, and we will be working in team with the ALBA company to build in Kazakhstan an aluminum cluster (relevant ministries signed a MoC in this field).
The states also intend to interact in the development of Islamic banking in Kazakhstan.
The President hopes that Bahrain will support Kazakhstan’s application for non-permanent membership in the UN Security Council. As a member of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA), Bahrain intends to contribute to the process of its transformation. Manama is ready to join the Islamic Organization for Food Security. Bahrain’s intention was announced to share in the EXPO 2017.
It was resolved to create a Business Council and an intergovernmental commission. Opening of direct flights between the two countries and visa procedures were brought up, – the President told the briefing. Agreements were signed on avoidance of double taxation and on mutual protection of investments to facilitate doing business.
Many investment and financial matters were discussed. Bahrain, together with other Gulf states is looking to sign with Kazakhstan a free trade agreement.
The two state leaders adopted a joint statement on results of the talks; MoUs were signed between Kazakhstan and Bahrain Foreign Ministries on the bilateral consultations, also between the Ministry of Industry and New Technologies of Kazakhstan and the Ministry of Industry and Commerce of the Kingdom of Bahrain on cooperation in industry , investment and development of small and medium-sized businesses, and between the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of industry and Commerce of the Kingdom of Bahrain in food security.
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Kazakhstan-Bahrain business forum in Astana
April 15. Kazpravda
By Kulpash KONYROVA
A number of documents were signed in Astana to expand trade and economic cooperation between Kazakhstan and the Kingdom of Bahrain. A bilateral business council will coordinate fulfillment of joint projects, – said Deputy PM – Minister of Industry and New Technologies Asset Issekeshev at the business forum yesterday “Kazakhstan – Bahrain: strategic partnership.”
Representatives of over 40 largest Bahrain companies arrived in Astana to study cooperation opportunities and doing business in Kazakhstan.
– The Kingdom of Bahrain is focused on expanding its presence in Central Asia. And since Kazakhstan is a leader in the CA region and Bahrain is a leader in the Gulf region, I believe our cooperation will help us to enrich each other, – said Minister of Transport Kamal Mohamed Ahmed, opening the joint business forum. – The current level of trade and economic development does not meet the existing potential. Indeed, according to the official data, the trade turnover between the two countries slightly exceeded $ 1 mln in 2013. This amount is small compared to other countries.
– We know that strong points of Bahrain economy are mining and processing of oil and gas, aluminum, financial, banking, agriculture sectors, tourism and food industry, – said Deputy Prime Minister – Minister of Industry and New Technologies Asset Issekeshev. – In turn, Kazakhstan could export wheat, barley and cornmeal to Bahrain, and establish a joint meat production Halal. These directions may be the grounds for joint ventures in our country and in the Kingdom of Bahrain.
At present Bahrain processes about 800 000 tons of aluminum, while Kazakhstan processes only 25 000 tons per year. At the same time our country possesses huge ore reserves to produce aluminum.
– Thus, we are ready to establish a special zone in Pavlodar to process aluminum to increase the volume of its production, – said A.Isekeshev .
As for cooperation in oil and gas sector, the Bahrain Petroleum Company (BAPCO) is able to provide its terminals in the Persian Gulf to export Kazakh oil and gas, – said chairman of Bahrain Petroleum Company Adel Al Moyed.
He added that the Kingdom of Bahrain has opportunities for exploration of new fields and can share its experience in this area. The record of oil and gas in Bahrain starts from 1932. In 1948, the new gas fields were discovered, and at present the Kingdom exports gas to 35 countries. It also has a highly developed petrochemical industry.
Cooperation in banking sector was also taken up. As known, the Kingdom of Bahrain is the financial center in the Gulf region. In this regard, Kazakhstan Government intends to intensify efforts to establish a regional hub to provide services of alternative financing.
In the end, a number of memoranda were signed to boost cooperation, in particular, establishment of the Kazakh-Bahrain Business Council to coordinate all joint projects.