Kazakhstan and the United Kingdom confirm their plan to further expand their strategic partnership in the post-COVID-19 period. This was announced at the seventh plenary session of the Kazakh-British Intergovernmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific, Technical and Cultural Cooperation (IGC) which was held virtually on Dec. 9.
According to the ECO Cultural Institute quoting Fars News Agency in Dushanbe, the seventh plenary session of the Kazakh-British Intergovernmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific, Technical and Cultural Cooperation (IGC) was held virtually on Dec. 9.
The direct investment from the U.K. increased by 33 percent despite the pandemic outbreak, said Kazakh Vice Foreign Minister Almas Aidarov. He stressed that Kazakhstan seeks to attract not only foreign direct investment, but new knowledge and technologies. He called on British companies to take part in the Digital Kazakhstan initiative.
"Economy diversification now focuses on digitalization, transport, logistics, agribusiness, manufacturing, energy and mining. Despite some progress, the Kazakh government has set new goals for long-term sustainable development. The Supreme Council for Reforms, chaired by President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev and advised by former EBRD President Sir Suma Chakrabarti is a major step forward," said Aidarov.
British International Trade Minister Ranil Jayawardena noted that Kazakhstan and its capital have the potential to become an international trade hub. In this light, British companies are ready to provide the goods, services and financing needed to achieve this goal.
More than 100 people took part in the meetings of the commission's working groups, which were also held from Nov. 10 to Dec. 3. The participants of the working groups reviewed the results of the commission's activities over the past year, and discussed the further development of multifaceted bilateral cooperation. The prospects for cooperation in energy, financial and mining sectors, healthcare and education were on the agenda.
The officials also spoke about digital education in Kazakhstan. The representatives of the British Educational Suppliers Association (BESA) and the British Council shared their vision on digital education and their experiences to ensure lifelong learning during the quarantine restrictions.
The working group on healthcare informed the participants about plans to build 18 hospitals in Kazakhstan through a public-private partnership.
A protocol that includes long-term plans for bilateral cooperation was also signed at the event.