Kazakhstan and Greece outline new trade and economic priorities

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ASTANA (TCA) — The potential for trade and economic cooperation between Kazakhstan and Greece remains high and includes the potential for significant growth in transport, agriculture, tourism and finance. This was said during the fourth meeting of the Kazakh-Greek Intergovernmental Commission (IGC) on economic and technological cooperation held in Athens late in September, the Kazakh Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported.

The co-chairs of the IGC, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan Roman Vassilenko and Alternate Foreign Minister of Greece Giorgos Katrougalos, identified priority areas for joint work, focused on establishing deeper trade, economic and investment cooperation, and touched upon the participation of Greece in Kazakhstan’s state programs. Both sides also considered prospects for future cooperation between Hellenic financial institutions and the Astana International Financial Centre.

Over the last two years, there has been a positive increase in bilateral trade. In 2017, trade turnover grew by 10.5 percent up to $980.6 million (including Kazakh exports – $964 million) compared with 2016, and in January-July of 2018 growth was 20 percent compared with the same period last year. Recently, a number of new joint Kazakh-Greek productions have been launched in Kazakhstan in such areas as the production of photovoltaic systems for solar power plants, engineering for the development of offshore fields, and the production of bricks.

Potential cooperation between the two countries was thoroughly discussed, taking into account Kazakhstan’s membership in the EEU, as well as the interaction of both sides as part of the Belt and Road initiative.

The Commission meeting was attended by officials of the ministries of culture and sport, agriculture, investment and development of Kazakhstan.

A practical result of the meeting was the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding and Cooperation in tourism between the relevant ministries of the two countries.
Both sides are confident of the positive impact of this MoU, especially considering the great experience of Greece in this area and Kazakhstan’s development of a state program for tourism until 2025.

Sergey Kwan

TCA