ASTANA – Kazakhstan accounts for more than 80% of Germany’s foreign trade with Central Asian countries, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said at a meeting with Germany’s Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier in Astana on June 20, the Akorda press service reported.
Tokayev underscored the importance of Steinmeier’s state visit to Kazakhstan, which is expected to boost the development of cooperation with Germany, one of the key trade, economic and investment partners of Kazakhstan in the European Union (EU).
“We had a detailed, very frank exchange of views on many issues related to our interaction in international organizations, and the geopolitical situation,” said the Kazakh President.
As part of the meeting, nine documents were signed, including the construction of a plant for the production of gypsum board sheets and dry building mixtures, the establishment of the Kazakh-German Institute of Sustainable Engineering, the development of partnership in the field of passenger transportation and transport and logistics, localization of production of medium-voltage switchgear for the country’s power industry under Siemens, and on joint activities on geological exploration for solid minerals and their processing.
Touching on the opportunities for strengthening comprehensive cooperation, the two leaders outlined energy, manufacturing, engineering, transport and logistics, renewable energy, rare earth metals, and agriculture as priority areas. In particular, Tokayev invited German companies to invest in green energy.
The sides also welcomed the launch of the construction of a green hydrogen production plant by the Svevind Energy Swedish-German company. The volume of investments in this project is valued at $50 billion.
The two leaders stressed the need to intensify cooperation in the development of the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route (TITR) and expand cooperation in the oil and gas and industry sectors.
Tokayev highlighted Kazakhstan’s growing role as an important regional hub, which accounts for 80% of transit land traffic on the China-Europe route. Last year, around 1.7 million tons of cargo was transported along the TITR, twice as much as recorded in 2021.
The presidents focused on strengthening the political dialogue and deepening cooperation in trade, economy, investment, energy, transport and logistics. They also considered the prospects in agriculture and alternative energy sources within special economic zones and financial institutions.
Steinmeier echoed Tokayev’s remarks on the dynamic cooperation the two countries have built in more than 30 years of diplomatic relations.
He commended the ongoing large-scale reforms carried out in Kazakhstan, mentioning the work on combating corruption, abolishing the death penalty, the creation of the Constitutional Court and the strengthened role of the Parliament.
“All this proves that you are following the course that you have shown to the people of Kazakhstan and the world,” noted Steinmeier.
As part of his visit, Steinmeier is expected to take part in the Kazakh-German business forum and visit the Mangystau Region to learn about its economic potential.
“I also appreciate your decision to travel to the Mangystau Region. I believe it will be a demonstration of our achievements in business cooperation,” said Tokayev.