President Tokayev outlines priority areas of CA-EU relationship development

ASTANA. KAZINFORM – Kazakhstan is ready to ramp up its cooperation with the Central Asian, and European countries, Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev told the Central Asia – European Union Forum, Kazinform cites Akorda.

According to the Kazakh Head of State, Kazakhstan’s multifaceted cooperation with the EU has huge potential for further development. Given its geographical location, Kazakhstan could tap into all its trade and economic and transport and logistics capabilities to deepen mutually beneficial cooperation between Central Asia and the European Union.

The Kazakh President stated the priority areas, which, according to him, will be of strategic significant both for Kazakhstan and all countries of the region.

«Increased trade turnover. Over the past years, the intra-regional economic ties between the Central Asian countries entered a new quality level. Last year alone, the trade turnover of Kazakhstan and the region’s countries rose by 19%, amounting to eight billion dollars. In the foreseeable future, we aim to bring this figure to $15 billion. There is a dynamic growth in the region’s trade with the EU countries, which increased by more than 60%, reaching 49 billion dollars, last year,» said Tokayev.

He went on to add that Kazakhstan is willing to increase the amount of 175 non-primary goods the country exports by $2.3 billion in such spheres as mechanical engineering, iron and steel production, and food production.

Tokayev noted huge prospects for cooperation in agriculture, as Kazakhstan exports 5 million tons of grain and 1.5 million tons of flour to the EU.

«Last year, the food trade between Kazakhstan and the EU rose by 35% to nearly $1 billion,» said the Kazakh President, noting that by realizing the full potential in the agricultural sphere, it will be possible to strengthen significantly food security of the regions.