Kazakhstan and Slovakia debate cooperation prospects

BRATISLAVA. KAZINFORM Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan Roman Vassilenko paid a working visit to Bratislava on March 9-11 to discuss prospects of further development of cooperation between Kazakhstan and Slovakia, as well as current issues on the international agenda.

During the visit, he had talks with Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of Slovakia Ivan Korčok, Deputy Chairman of the National Council (Parliament) Juraj Blanár and Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Council Marián Kéry, Advisor Foreign Policy to the President Jana Kobzová, Ambassador-at-Large and former EU Special Representative for Central Asia Peter Burian, Chairman of the Council of Slovak Exporters Lukáš Parizek, as well as numerous representatives of the Slovak business community, the Kazakh MFA’s press service reports.

Vassilenko informed his interlocutors in detail about the current situation in Kazakhstan, the course of the investigation of the tragic January events, comprehensive state measures to protect human rights, interaction with national and international human rights NGOs, ongoing and planned large-scale political and socio-economic reforms in accordance with the course of President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev to build a New Kazakhstan. The Slovak partners warmly welcomed the reform agenda announced by the Kazakh head of state.

The interlocutors paid special attention to the discussion of the situation in Ukraine and the efforts of the international community to stop hostilities and provide humanitarian assistance to this country. Vassilenko presented the position of our country on the need for a peaceful settlement in Ukraine in accordance with the UN Charter, readiness to contribute to the diplomatic resolution of the situation through mediation services.

Vassilenko also confirmed the invariability of Kazakhstan’s course of a balanced multi-vector foreign policy. The parties discussed the schedule of bilateral events planned for the current year.

During meetings with the leadership of the National Council of Slovakia, the growing role of parliamentary diplomacy in modern politics was noted and plans were outlined for developing cooperation between the legislative bodies of the two countries.

Discussing the prospects for trade, economic and investment cooperation, the parties noted with satisfaction that despite the pandemic, the volume of trade between Kazakhstan and Slovakia in 2021 amounted to 84 million US dollars, which is 21% higher than in 2020 ($69.5 million). Investments in the economy of Kazakhstan, despite relatively small volumes, also show a stable upward trend and currently amount to 23.4 million US dollars.

The Deputy Foreign Minister also took part in the 9th meeting of the Kazakh-Slovak Intergovernmental Commission on Economic, Scientific and Technical Cooperation. It was accompanied by a business forum with the participation of representatives of the business circles of both countries and the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Committee for Investments of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the metallurgical and trading company «Heneken», which is interested in entering the market of Kazakhstan.

Speaking at these events, Vassilenko noted the important role of the commission in maintaining permanent working contacts between the interested state bodies of the two countries. Engineering and construction, defense industry, energy, water management, metallurgy, information technology, agriculture, medicine and tourism were named promising sectors for mutually beneficial cooperation.

During the meeting with the chairman of the Council of Slovak Exporters Lukáš Parizek, plans for the development of cooperation in the field of trade and investment were discussed. The council is a partner of QazTrade national company.

During the visit, Vassilenko gave an interview to the television program CD Club of the Slovak news agency TASR, the podcast program ExportAir and the analytical portal Finančné Noviny, and also held a detailed meeting with the leadership and experts of the authoritative analytical platform in the region of Central and Eastern Europe, Globsec.

As part of the visit, a reception was held with the participation of high representatives of the Slovak government bodies, private companies, academia and analytical structures working with Kazakhstan, as well as former President of Slovakia Ivan Gašparovič. The participants of the event, expressing gratitude to the Kazakh side for cooperation over many years, expressed confidence in its further progressive development.

During the event, Honorary Consul of the Republic of Kazakhstan in Banska Bystrica Region, Chairman of the Slovak Hunting Union and lecturer at the Technical University in Zvolen Tibor Lebocký, in the presence of State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the SR Ingrid Brocková, was presented with a certificate that allows him to carry out his activities for the benefit of the development of bilateral cooperation and friendship between the two states and peoples.

The program of the visit of the Kazakh delegation made it possible to maintain a confidential and constructive dialogue and «to compare notes» on a wide range of issues on the bilateral and international agenda.

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