Astana, Kazakhstan, Jan. 29
By Daniyar Mukhtarov - Trend:
Within the ongoing European tour, Kazakh Foreign Minister Erlan Idrisov has visited Hungary, Kazakh Foreign Ministry said on Jan.29.
"The Kazakh delegation headed by the foreign minister participated in the work of an international seminar titled "Strengthening of Partnership: Republic of Kazakhstan - the European Union" in Budapest.
The delegation included representatives of scientific and research institutions and government bodies of Kazakhstan, including the Ministry of Transport and Communications, education, defense, industry and new technologies, as well as Kazakh Institute of Strategic Studies, Institute of Oriental Studies, the European Information Center and other organizations.
The seminar was organized to determine the priorities and positions of the parties on the most important sectors of cooperation of mutual interest, as well as disclose the new potential of interactions.
The priorities of development of Kazakh-European partnership were reflected in the titles of three main panel discussions: general issues of cooperation of Kazakhstan and the EU (the Agreement on extended partnership and cooperation, the opening of "European Sky" for airlines from Kazakhstan, the liberalization of the visa regime for citizens of Kazakhstan), regional security (new challenges and threats, the withdrawal of troops of the international coalition from Afghanistan) and energy ("greening" of the Kazakh economy, technology transfer, EXPO 2017).
From the European side a group of experts and officials, including the EU Special Representative for Central Asia, Patricia Flor, senior employees of EU External Action Service, Foreign Minister of Hungary János Martonyi and other ministers of the Hungarian government participated at the seminar.
Idrisov stressed that this meeting has special significance for Kazakhstan.
The EU is the largest trade-economic partner of Kazakhstan. Almost half of Kazakhstan's foreign trade falls to it. The indices of the trade turnover for 2012 were the highest in the history of cooperation, amounting to about $53 billion and $ 46 billion in January-October 2013. Some 47 percent of foreign investments in Kazakhstan's economy were drawn from EU countries.
The preparation of a new agreement on expanded partnership and cooperation was an important topic for discussion. This document is intended to be a legal basis for the transition to a more significant and dynamic partnership stage between Kazakhstan and EU.
The importance of the European Union as an energy partner of Kazakhstan was stressed at the workshop. Kazakhstan exports about 70 percent of oil to the EU countries, namely, Italy, the Netherlands, France, Austria and Romania. The cooperation between Kazakhstan and the EU in the innovation, scientific and technical fields was discussed.
During the visit, Idrisov also held the bilateral meetings with Hungarian counterpart Janos Martonyi, Minister of National Economy Mihály Varga and Rural Development Minister Sándor Fazekas.
"As part of the bilateral negotiations, the parties discussed the state and prospects of the Kazakh- Hungarian cooperation, the preparation for President Nazarbayev's upcoming visit to Hungary this year, as well as cooperation in trade-economic, agricultural and educational fields," according to the report.
Translated by L.Z., N.H.
Edited by C.N.