Kazakhstan seeks market-economy status from EU

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ASTANA (TCA) — The Minister of Economic Integration of Kazakhstan, Zhanar Aitzhanova, and European Union Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström discussed the issue of awarding the status of a market economy to Kazakhstan, the official website of the Prime Minister of Kazakhstan reported on March 1.

According to the Ministry for Economic Integration, during the Brussels meeting the sides also discussed issues regarding the import and transit of goods, including those subject to veterinary control, derived from EU countries.

“The head of the Kazakh delegation informed about reforms undertaken by the Government of Kazakhstan in order to improve the investment climate, trade and customs procedures, and reduce the share of state-owned enterprises in the economy,” the ministry said.

Minister Aitzhanova stressed that “the market economy status is important for Kazakhstan not only to increase the volume of bilateral trade, but also to attract investment in the processing sector from the EU in the framework of the new enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement between Kazakhstan and the European Union signed in December 2015.”

The minister also informed about the Kazakh government’s plans of large-scale privatization and invited European investors to participate in this process.

According to the Ministry for Economic Integration, the EU is the main trading partner of Kazakhstan. The trade turnover between Kazakhstan and the EU amounted to $31.3 billion in 2015, accounting for more than 40 percent of Kazakhstan’s foreign trade.

Sergey Kwan

TCA