World Monitor Magazine June #3 - Page 28

Invest to kazakhstan Bilateral cooperation between Kazakhstan and EU Diplomatic relations with the EU have reached a very high level, as exemplified by the Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement. Please, tell us what agreements have been reached, what are the objectives and expectations from this document? This year we celebrate the 24th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations with our largest political and trade and economic partner – the European Union. Roman Vassilenko, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan Today, our bilateral relations are characterized by proactive and regular political dialogue, mutual visits at various levels, high dynamics of turnover and investment. A system of constant consultations has been established between our parties concerning trade, energy, transport, environment protection, customs cooperation, justice, and human rights, international and regional security. Within the framework of bilateral cooperation, several structures have been established and are still operating, aiming at deepening contacts in all areas of cooperation. The main structures include the following: the Cooperation Council (at the level of heads of central operating agencies) and Cooperation Committees in political and trade forms (at the level of senior officials/ deputy heads), during meetings of which the topical issues of political and trade- economic interaction are discussed. At the expert level, there are subcommittees on energy, transport, 22 world monitor environment protection and climate change issues, as well as on customs cooperation, on issues of justice, freedom and security. The inter-parliamentary dialogue is progressively developing, the working body of which is the Kazakhstan-EU Parliamentary Cooperation Committee (at the moment, 14 meetings have been held). Kazakhstan cooperates with the EU in various fields aimed at general and all- round development of the region, including within the framework of the EU Strategy in Central Asia. Under this Strategy, projects are being implemented in the field of consolidating the rule of law, reforming the judicial and legal system, raising standards and quality of education, managing border cooperation, combating drug traffic, improving environment protection, and increasing in mutual trade and investments. There are negotiation platforms in the format of 'European Union-Central Asia' at the level of Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Education and Justice, as well as the EU- CA Dialogue on Politics and Security at the level of Deputy Ministers of Foreign Affairs and representatives of interested state authorities. The constructive political dialogue between our parties is a reliable guarantee of successful economic cooperation, which is also developing at a fast rate. Thus, in 2016 the volume of Kazakhstan’s trade with EU countries was 24.1 billion USD, which is about 50 percent of the