EU Enlargement & Neighbourhood

Second EU-Kazakhstan High-Level Business Platform focuses on investment climate issues

01/10/2019 - 09:51
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NUR-SULTAN – The EU-Kazakhstan High-Level Platform of dialogue on economic and business matters held its second meeting in Nur-Sultan on 1 October, chaired by Kazakhstan Prime Minister Askar Mamin. The event brought together leading European companies and EU Heads of Mission led by EU Ambassador to the Republic of Kazakhstan Sven-Olov Carlsson.

Ambassador Carlsson highlighted the positive and concrete impact of the High-Level Platform, launched earlier this summer, for regular exchange of views between the European Union, its businesses and the Kazakh Government. He also highlighted the EU funded programmes that shortly will be launched or are ongoing, in the areas of trade facilitation, the rule of law and the financing of small and medium enterprises.

Participants discussed cooperation on the investment climate and business environment, including recent and planned legislation in the areas of environment protection, currency regulations and control, and import of agricultural machinery.  

The first meeting of the High-Level Platform took place on 1 July and provided an opportunity to discuss cooperation on reducing technical barriers to trade, notably in the agro-food sector. Other issues discussed related to tax legislation in particular prospects for decriminalisation of tax offences.

EU is Kazakhstan's first trading partner and represents more than half of foreign direct investment in Kazakhstan. With the EU-Kazakhstan Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (EPCA), the EU and Kazakhstan have developed a framework for further strengthening trade and economic relations. The EU supports Kazakhstan's ambitious reform and modernisation processes, including the improvement of the business climate.

The Platform of dialogue at high level complements the technical dialogue between the EU and Kazakhstan within EPCA, in particular the Cooperation Committee in Trade Configuration, which took place in Nur-Sultan on 30 September, as well as the Customs Sub-Committee which took place in Nur-Sultan on 1 October.  

Background Information

The EU is Kazakhstan’s first trade partner representing over one third of its external trade and over half of total foreign direct investment in Kazakhstan. With over 75% of oil exports going to the EU (representing approx. 6% of total EU imports), Kazakhstan is already the third largest non-member of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries supplier for the EU. From the EU Kazakhstan imports machinery, transport equipment and pharmaceuticals, alongside chemical products, plastics, medical devices and furniture. The EU-Kazakhstan Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement, signed in Nur-Sultan on 21 December 2015 and provisionally application since 1 May 2016, aims at creating a better regulatory environment for businesses in areas such as trade in services, establishment and operation of companies, capital movements, raw materials and energy, intellectual property rights. It is a tool of regulatory convergence between Kazakhstan and the EU, with some “WTO plus” provisions, notably on public procurement.

For further details please contact Ms Elnara Bainazarova, Press and Information Officer of the EU Delegation to Kazakhstan: + 7 (7172) 974567, e-mail: elnara.bainazarova@eeas.europa.eu.