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President of the Republic of Kazakhstan

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President of the Republic of Kazakhstan


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Kassym-Jomart Tokayev participates in the meeting of the heads of Central Asian States with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz

September 29, 2023

Berlin, Germany

At the beginning of his address, the Head of State expressed gratitude to Olaf Scholz for hospitality and excellent organization of the summit. Kassym-Jomart Tokayev noted that the launch of the "C5+Germany" dialogue is very relevant.

The Kazakh leader explained the most important areas of cooperation. He identified increasing trade and economic collaborations as the top priority.

– Central Asian trade with Germany shows a positive trend, totaling $11 billion at the end of last year. Kazakhstan accounts for more than 80% of this trade turnover, and we are ready to increase exports to Germany by an additional 100 non-resource items totalling $850 million. We are talking about products of petrochemicals, metallurgy, food industry, – the President said.

According to Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, the growth of mutual trade turnover could be facilitated by the conclusion of long-term contracts for the import of products from the countries of the region, as well as the granting of special trade preferences to Central Asian states, similar to the European Union's Generalised System of Preferences (GSP+). The President suggested setting up a joint working group at the level of the heads of the relevant agencies to draw up proposals for simplifying trade conditions.

The Head of State condemned the sanctions confrontation and spoke in favour of trade without restrictions and barriers.

– Kazakhstan opposes sanction confrontations, as politically motivated restrictions poison the overall atmosphere of international relations and do not contribute to the development of trade and economic cooperation between states. At the same time, we must consider sanctions restrictions in regional politics. We believe that the time has come for constructive diplomacy to find a mutually acceptable formula for peace and cooperation. I recently spoke about this from the rostrum of the United Nations during a session of the General Assembly. Kazakhstan advocates for the development of barrier-free trade and investment cooperation with all interested states. Yesterday, I had productive talks with you, distinguished Chancellor, and the heads of leading German companies on economic cooperation. We believe that the prospects for such cooperation are bright, – emphasized Kassym-Jomart Tokayev.

Agriculture is another priority area for cooperation. With the support of German partners, the head of state suggested creating a Regional Centre for Sustainable Agriculture in Kazakhstan. According to him, the centre could facilitate a broad exchange of theoretical developments, as well as their implementation and commercialization.

There are great prospects for further development of investment partnership.

– For more than 30 years, Germany has consistently been among the main investors in our country's economy. Kazakhstan aims to continue mutually beneficial cooperation with Germany and is ready to create all necessary conditions for German investors, including compliance with ESG principles, – the Head of State said.

As Kassym-Jomart Tokayev noted, attracting large German banks to the region may give additional impetus to investment cooperation.

The Head of State also drew attention to the need for effective cooperation in the field of transport and transit.

– Today, the Central Asian region is becoming a key link in global transport, playing an important role as a continental bridge in the North-South and East-West directions. Of particular importance is the development of the Trans-Caspian route and its conjunction with the Global Gateway strategy. In the medium term, the volume of cargo traffic along this corridor can be increased fivefold. Systematic work is being carried out for this purpose. We invite German partners to take an active part in the development of the Trans-Caspian route and Caspian Sea ports, as well as joint production of transport vessels and creation of logistics centers, – the President stressed.

According to Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, Kazakh enterprises are ready to fill the deficit in the world market of titanium and other materials.

Another important priority for interaction was identified as the sphere of ecology and development of "green" economy. The Head of State expressed gratitude to the German side for the opening of the Hydrogen Diplomacy Office in Astana, which covers all countries in the region. The President also highly appreciated the initiative of the German Government "Green Central Asia", which is a continuation of the "Water Initiative for Central Asia".

The President then pointed out such pressing challenges for the Central Asian region as terrorism, religious extremism, drug trafficking and transnational crime. Kassym-Jomart Tokayev spoke positively about Germany's efforts to address these and other threats through its own project activities, as well as within the framework of the EU, OSCE and other international organizations.

The Head of State dwelt separately on the situation in Afghanistan. In his opinion, it is necessary to continue to support the efforts of the international community and especially the Central Asian states to prevent a humanitarian crisis in this country. In this context, he pointed out the importance of establishing the UN Regional Centre for Sustainable Development for Central Asia and Afghanistan in Almaty.

Summarizing his speech, president Tokayev expressed confidence that the synergy of Germany's political influence and economic opportunities with the enormous potential of the Central Asian states can make a great contribution to the sustainable progress of the region.

The meeting was also addressed by Olaf Scholz, Chancellor of Germany, Sadyr Zhaparov, President of Kyrgyzstan, Emomali Rahmon, President of Tajikistan, Shavkat Mirziyoyev President of Uzbekistan, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, Chairman of the Halk Maslahaty of Turkmenistan.

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