The EU is a key trade partner of Kazakhstan, accounting for USD 53 billion of its foreign trade turnover and 47% of accumulated foreign investment. And on June 3rd, the President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, completed his first official visit to the post-Soviet nation.

During his two-day visit, he met with President Nursultan Nazarbayev, Prime Minister Serik Akhmetov and the Chairman of the Lower Chamber of Parliament (Majilis), Nurlan Nigmatulin, later delivering a lecture to students and teaching staff at the Eurasian National University.

Speaking after his meeting with President Nazarbayev, Mr Barroso said “I am most pleased to be able to confirm here today that our trade negotiators have found agreement on the substantive elements of the bilateral terms of Kazakhstan’s WTO accession, and we look forward to signing the deal soon. … Our relations go well beyond the economic dimension and also beyond simply
bilateral issues. We very much appreciate Kazakhstan’s role in promoting regional cooperation in Central Asia. Only by working together will be possible to address the common challenges that all the countries in the region face, from terrorism and extremism, to drug trafficking or water management”.

Commenting on the visit, Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Zhanbolat Ussenov said: “Mr Barroso’s talks in Astana have contributed to strengthening Kazakhstan’s relations with the EU. The two sides are making good progress on negotiating a new enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement that will cover a broad range of issues that are in the interests of both
Kazakhstan and the EU, from trade links to counter-terrorism and managing new security threats”.

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