Presidents of Kazakhstan, Republic of Korea meet in Astana
June 19. KAZINFORM. ASTANA
The first state visit of the President of the Republic of Korea to Kazakhstan opens a new page in the history of the Kazakhstan-South Korean strategic partnership, President Nursultan Nazarbayev has said today during the extended bilateral meeting with his counterpart Park Geun-hye in Astana.
“This is the second time we meet and this meeting is of paramount importance. The Republic of Korea is our strategic partner both in economy and politics. We observe everything that is done in your country with great respect and attention,” the Kazakh leader noted.
The President stressed that the narrow format talks they had had earlier focused on a wide range of issues of bilateral and regional character.
“Kazakhstan and the Republic of Korea share common stance on a number of international issues. We have agreed to continue our close dialogue,” Nursultan Nazarbayev underscored.
The Head of State also lauded South Korea for making an economic miracle by transforming from an agrarian country into one of the world’s top 20 super powers.
“Kazakhstan-South Korean cooperation in energy, car manufacturing, construction, mining industry, healthcare and education has reached a high level. Sales turnover between the countries totaled $1.5 billion in 2013,” President Nazarbayev said.
Park Geun-hye, in turn, noted that Kazakhstan is the key partner for the Republic of Korea. “I am glad that we were able to discuss a lot of issues related to the global situation, including the North Korean nuclear program,” the South Korean President added.
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Kazakhstan supports the policy of Korean peninsula’s denuclearization – N.Nazarbayev
June 19. KAZINFORM. ASTANA
President Nursultan Nazarbayev has held talks with South Korean President Park Geun-hye, who arrived in Kazakhstan on a state visit, the press service of Akorda reports.
During the meeting in a narrow format the parties discussed the main directions to strengthen high-level contacts, expand trade, investment and technological cooperation, as well as the development of the Kazakh-Korean strategic partnership.
In addition, Nursultan Nazarbayev and Park Geun-hye exchanged views on topical issues of the international agenda and compared their positions on key issues of bilateral collaboration in the framework of international and regional organizations.
The Head of State noted that the visit of the President of South Korea is a significant event for Kazakhstan.
“We are studying the early days of independence reforms that were carried out in South Korea. I met with all the presidents of South Korea, starting with Roh Tae-woo. I hope that your visit will create conditions for even closer cooperation”, said Nursultan Nazarbayev.
In turn, the South Korean President pointed out that she recalls the last meeting with the President of Kazakhstan which took place in the framework of the G20 summit in September 2013 in St. Petersburg.
“We have a broad scope for cooperation and great potential for economic partnership. Today I saw the rapidly developing Astana. The city demonstrates a high level of economic growth”, said Park Geun-hye.
In addition, the President of the Republic of Korea expressed her hope that the long-term development strategy “Kazakhstan-2050” will be successfully implemented.
At the meeting of the delegations in the extended format the President of Kazakhstan noted that the Korean President’s first state visit to Kazakhstan opens a new era in the history of South Korean-Kazakh strategic partnership.
Nursultan Nazarbayev on behalf of the people Kazakhstan and from himself personally expressed sincere condolences in connection with “Sewol” ferry disaster. Kazakh President also noted that Kazakhstan supports the policy of the Republic of Korea on the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
President of the Republic of Korea expressed appreciation for the invitation to visit Kazakhstan. Park Geun-hye stressed that Kazakhstan is a key partner for the Republic of Korea. She also expressed her gratitude for Kazakhstan’s support of major international initiatives including those related to strengthening of trust relationships within the CICA, the establishment of trust and peace on the Korean Peninsula, as well as “Eurasian initiative”.
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S. Korea, Kazakhstan agree to expand joint economic projects
June 19. KAZINFORM. ASTANA
South Korean President Park Geun-hye and her Kazakh counterpart Nursultan Nazarbayev agreed Thursday to work closely together to realize major energy and power projects currently underway between the two countries.
The joint projects worth a total of US$10 billion were a key focus of the two leaders’ summit talks in Astana, which came on the fourth day of Park’s six-day tour of Central Asia, officials said.
The South Korean leader arrived in Kazakhstan on Wednesday following a three-day state visit to Uzbekistan. After three days in Kazakhstan, Park is scheduled to fly to Turkmenistan on Friday for a two-day state visit, Yonhap reports.
Park and Nazarbayev agreed to strengthen bilateral cooperation to begin construction on a $4.9 billion coal-fired power plant in the southern Kazakh city of Balkhash, about 680 kilometers south of the capital Astana, according to officials.
As part of that agreement, the two sides signed a contract under which South Korea would buy $18.8 billion worth of electricity from the plant once it goes into operation.
The deal is expected to help finance the project and help launch the plant’s construction in the second half of the year.
During the summit, Park also requested the Kazakh government’s support to begin construction on a petrochemical complex in Atyrau on the northern banks of the Caspian Sea, officials said.
The two countries have yet to agree on the financial arrangements for the $5 billion project.
South Korea and Kazakhstan are also working on a project to drill oil from the Zhambyl field in the Caspian Sea.
An initial study put the field’s reserves at 100 million barrels, but the two sides have yet to determine the project’s economic feasibility.
Park asked Nazarbayev for his continued support in ensuring smooth operations in the exploration of the field, with the aim of beginning actual drilling, officials said.
Kazakhstan is the largest destination of South Korean investment in the region, with more than 250 South Korean firms operating here. Last year, two-way trade reached a record $1.32 billion, according to official data.
During the summit, the two leaders also agreed to work toward new joint projects in the energy and resources sector, officials said.
South Korea is seeking participation in a $3.5 billion project to build more oil refineries for the Tengiz oil field on the shores of the Caspian Sea.
Asia’s fourth-largest economy is also taking part in the joint exploration of a lead and zinc mine in Karagandy Province, central Kazakhstan, with the aim of winning the right to exploit the mine later this year.
Park and Nazarbayev also agreed to expand bilateral cooperation to new areas such as health, forestry and infrastructure construction as part of efforts to promote their countries’ mutual growth and contribute to Kazakhstan’s industrial diversification, officials said.
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South Korea supports Kazakhstan’s efforts to join WTO
June 19. KAZINFORM. ASTANA
In the presence of the President of Kazakhstan and the President of the Republic of Korea a number of documents have been signed in Akorda.
Thus there was signed an agreement between the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Government of the Republic of Korea on mutual abolition of visa requirements, a Memorandum of Understanding and Cooperation between the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Ministry of State legislation of the Republic of Korea, a Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of education and science of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Ministry of science, information and communication technologies and the future planning of the Republic of Korea, a Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Environment and Water Resources of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Forestry Service of the Republic of Korea on cooperation in the field of forestry and reforestation of the Republic of Kazakhstan, a treaty on the purchase of services to maintain readiness of electric power generation plants. After the ceremony, the two leaders made a statement.
Nursultan Nazarbayev expressed confidence that the visit of the President of the Republic of Korea will strengthen the dynamics of bilateral cooperation.
“Kazakhstani and South Korean partners are expanding cooperation in non-oil sector. There are more than 300 joint ventures in Kazakhstan. During the talks with Ms. Park Geun-hye, we discussed the participation of Korean business in the program of forced industrial-innovative development of Kazakhstan. The parties confirmed their interest in cooperation on the formula “technology in exchange for resources”, he said.
Nursultan Nazarbayev noted that a number of important agreements will be signed within the framework of the Kazakh-Korean business forum. He also informed about the business forum “Republic of Kazakhstan – Republic of Korea” which is to be held on September the current year.
President drew attention to the signing of the new law “On investments” which provides good business opportunities for foreign investors.
“Investors are now offered such supporting measures as exemption of the income tax for a 10-year-long period; exemption of the land tax for the same period; exemption of property tax for 8 years; compensation for up to 30% of capital investments by the state after the production facility has been put in operation. Besides, investors are vested with the right to import work force in excess of the set quotas for the whole construction period and for a year following the commissioning of the production facility”, said the President of Kazakhstan.
“We note Seoul’s active participation in the CICA. We asked South Korea to actively participate in preparations for EXPO 2017. We actively support South Korean’s “Eurasian initiative” which coincides with Kazakhstan’s idea of the Eurasian Economic Union. We support the proposal of the Republic of Korea on North Korea’s nuclear-free status, and the idea of unification of the peninsula in a peaceful manner. We urge the North Korean partners to consider the experience of Kazakhstan, which renounced its nuclear arsenal and closed the polygon”, he said.
President of the Republic of Korea stressed that she attaches great importance to this visit, as Kazakhstan is South Korea’s important partner in economic cooperation and it plays a key role in the Eurasian region.
“Today we have agreed to bring bilateral relations to more mutually beneficial level. I hope that the adopted Joint Statement will determine the direction for the development of our relations and concrete measures for practical cooperation in various fields”, said Park Geun-hye.
South Korean President also noted that the two countries have complementary economic structures.
“Last year, trade turnover between the two countries reached a record high. Kazakhstan is Central Asia’s largest investment market for Korea. We are engaged in the implementation of three major projects: the construction of Balkhash thermal power plant, chemical complex in Atyrau region, and Zhambyl deposit development. We also welcome the intended promotion of new projects such as the expansion of production at the Tengiz oil field”, said the President of the Republic of Korea.
In conclusion, Park Geun-hye noted that the Republic of Korea supports Kazakhstan’s efforts to join the WTO and expressed hope to increase trade and investment cooperation between the two states.
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South Korea and Kazakhstan sign agreement on visa-free regime
June 19. Tengrinews
South Korea and Kazakhstan have signed a number of agreements in the presence of Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev and his Korean counterpart Park Geun-hye, a Tengrinews.kz journalist reports.
One of the agreements set a visa-free regime between the two nations. Citizens of either country may enter the other country’s territory without applying for a visa if their intended sojourn doesn’t exceed one month.
The sides also signed agreements on cooperation in education, forests protections, and an agreement covering construction of the Balkhash thermal power plant.
“South Korea and Kazakhstan have been actively developing cooperation outside extraction industries; there are over 300 JVs in operation, notably car assemblage facilities. The wto sides are working together to construct the Balkhash thermal power plant, a gas treatment and chemicals facility in Atyrau, and develop Zhambyl oilfield. We have discussed involvement of Korean companies in the Kazakhstan’s Program of Accelerated Industrial Development. We’ve planned a Kazakh-Korean business forum to accommodate signing of some important contracts”, President Nazarbayev said.
He also reminded about the recent sitting of the Council of Foreign Investors (CFI), whereat a new package of incentives was passed to facilitate foreign investments.
The talks are part of the first state visit of South Korean President Park Geun-hye to Kazakhstan.