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Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan Enhance Strategic Partnership

On April 5th, President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev and President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev met in Khiva to discuss further strengthening of the Kazakh-Uzbek strategic partnership and allied relations. The presidents exchanged views on a wide range of economic interactions, including increasing mutual trade, cooperation in the fields of energy, transport, water management, and the IT industry. It was reported that last year, bilateral trade turnover amounted to $4.4 billion, and joint projects are now being implemented in the fields of industry, energy, transport and logistics, and agriculture. The Kazakh-Uzbek portfolio currently includes 60 collaborative projects with investment exceeding $2.5 billion and the creation of more than 13 thousand jobs. Progress is also forging ahead on the construction of an International Centre for Industrial Cooperation between the two countries. The Kazakh president stated that Kazakh-Uzbek collaboration is a vital necessity, and only by working together can sustainable development be ensured. In this regard, Tokayev supported plans to adopt and implement a Program of Strategic Partnership and Allied Relations between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan until 2034. The leaders also welcomed mutually beneficial initiatives between their countries’ railway administrations. Once in operation, the proposed joint venture will provide cargo terminals on the Kazakh-Chinese border and cargo transportation along the China-Kazakhstan-Uzbekistan route, as well as developments of the Trans-Afghan route.

Kazakhstan and China Strengthen Strategic Partnership

On 29 March Kazakhstan’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Murat Nurtleu visited China for the first meeting concerning the establishment of the Strategic Dialogue between Kazakhstan and China. Following discussions with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on political, trade, economic, investment, and cultural cooperation, Minister Nurtleu reported: “We attach great importance to the development of relations with Beijing. We have established a comprehensive strategic partnership, which is being strengthened through personal friendly contacts of our leaders.” Citing the fact that in 2023, China became the Kazakhstan’s largest trading partner, with an increase in turnover of bilateral trade of over 30% to 41 billion US dollars, he emphasized the need for further promotion of joint economic, transport and logistics projects within the framework of China’s Belt and Road initiative. In turn, the Chinese Foreign Minister stated, “Kazakhstan is our authoritative strategic partner in the region” and announced that China is ready to fully strengthen and enhance cooperation with Kazakhstan. The ministers also noted that the significant intensification of cooperation between the two countries was largely due to the introduction of the mutual visa-free regime implemented in November last year.

Kazakhstan and Great Britain Sign Strategic Partnership on Critical Minerals

A strategic partnership on critical minerals has been signed by Iran Sharkhan, Kazakhstan’s Deputy Minister of Industry and Construction, and Nusrat Ghani, UK’s Minister of State at the Department for Business and Trade, Minister of State for the Investment Security Unit, and Minister for Industry and Economic Security. The document was signed in London at the Mineral Processing and Circular Economy Business Forum (March 11-15). At his meeting with Nusrat Ghani, Mr Sharkhan discussed Kazakhstan’s principal aims, including the exchange of raw materials for technology and entry into the global value chain. He also encouraged British companies’ involvement in investment projects in Kazakhstan. The forum included B2B meetings, where entrepreneurs from Kazakhstan and Great Britain discussed collaboration in the field of critical raw materials and specific project proposals. The Kazakh delegation also held meetings with UK mining and metallurgical companies: Techmet, Maritime House Ltd., Ionic Rare Earth, Mkango Resources Ltd., Haig Barrett Partners, and FSEE.

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