First official visit of Kazakhstan’s Foreign Minister to Germany opens new stage of the Kazakhstan-German political and trade-economic interaction
Kazakhstan and Germany aim to build a multifaceted partnership across a wide range of bilateral relations, which may soon reach a new level of progress. These announcements were made following the talks between Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan Beibut Atamkulov and German politicians during his official visit to Germany.
The Foreign Minister met with his counterpart – Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs Heiko Maas, along with the Head of the Office of the Federal President, Stephan Steinlein, the Chairman of the “Germany - Central Asia” Parliamentary Friendship Group, the Bundestag Deputy, Manfred Grund, and the Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy Thomas Bareiß.
Representatives of the German establishment commended the domestic political developments in Kazakhstan, emphasizing the outstanding role of the First President - Elbasy Nursultan Nazarbayev in building of an independent Kazakhstan. They welcomed the continuation of the foreign policy and the ongoing socio-economic reforms of new President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, wishing him further success.
During the conversation, Beibut Atamkulov and Heiko Maas “compared notes”, discussing the key issues of bilateral relations and multilateral interactions.
The German diplomat expressed readiness for joint developments of strategic areas of cooperation. He thanked Beibut Atamkulov for the support of more than 180,000 German diaspora in Kazakhstan and the popularization of German language. Overall, the parties agreed on deepening the cooperation in education, particularly in the dual system.
In addition, the importance of continuing interactions at the highest level and the organization of relevant events was noted.
The two ministers also considered practical steps for implementing the new EU Strategy on Central Asia, in which Germany is willing to play a key role. Within this context, the parties discussed the situation in Afghanistan.
Both ministers also spoke at a joint press conference, expressing satisfaction with the ongoing development of Kazakh-German political interactions and economic cooperation.
During the negotiations with Stephan Steinlein, the sides exchanged views on political cooperation. The Foreign Minister voiced the initiative of the First President of Kazakhstan, who proposed to the world community the idea of creating a new geopolitical reality based on “Three dialogues”. Having praised the initiative, Stephan Steinlein stressed that Germany is also interested in establishing dialogue between world powers.
At a meeting with a member of the Bundestag Manfred Grund, Kazakhstan’s Foreign Minister discussed the issues of bilateral inter-parliamentary relations. Beibut Atamkulov expressed gratitude for the continued support of Kazakhstan’s international initiatives. Within this context, he recalled the participation of the Vice-President of the German Bundestag Dr. Hans-Peter Friedrich in the upcoming Fourth meeting of Speakers of Eurasian countries, which will take place in Nur-Sultan on September 23-24, 2019. Member of the German Bundestag spoke about his first visit to Kazakhstan in 1996 and, comparing with the current level of development of our country, stressed the outstanding role of Nursultan Nazarbayev.
In negotiations with representatives of the German economy, the parties positively assessed the growth in trade turnover, which have reached US$5.1 billion in 2018 (according to German statistics). Kazakhstan is Germany’s main partner in Central Asia, the total trade volume over the past year amounted more than 85% of the total volume of German foreign trade operations with the countries of the region. The parties discussed the possibility of signing in 2019 a road map for economic and industrial cooperation between the two countries, which should include new projects in energy, engineering, renewable energy, chemistry, tourism, transport and agriculture.
Over the past 12 years, Kazakhstan has attracted US$8.6 billion direct investment from Germany. More than 900 joint ventures have been created with such major investors as Siemens, WILO, KNAUF, BASF, Metro Cash & Carry, OBI, CLAAS, Linde AG.
Besides, during the visit, Foreign Minister Beibut Atamkulov plans to meet with the leadership of the office of the German Chancellor, the Association of German Chambers of Commerce, as well as to hold a round table with captains of German business.