Kazakh, French leaders focus on trade, economic relations in Paris meeting

Presidents also exchange views on strengthening cultural ties, discuss issues on international agenda, situation in Central Asia.

Kazakh, French leaders focus on trade, economic relations in Paris meeting

The leaders of Kazakhstan and France concentrated on bilateral trade and economic relations between their countries during a meeting at the Elysee Palace in Paris on Tuesday.

“During the meeting, (Kazakh President) Kassym-Jomart Tokayev thanked (French President) Emmanuel Macron for the invitation to visit France and warm congratulations on his reelection as President of Kazakhstan,” said a statement by the Kazakh presidency.

Tokayev briefed his French counterpart about the ongoing political and economic modernization in Kazakhstan and invited him to visit Kazakhstan in the near future.

The Kazakh president also said his meeting with Macron was “a great opportunity to strengthen the strategic partnership between the two countries and bring relations to an even higher level.”

Macron, for his part, said Kazakhstan is “a strategic partner” of France.

“Trade and economic relations are actively developing between the countries, joint projects in the energy sector are being implemented. The European Union is actively investing in various Kazakh projects,” the statement further said about the French leader’s remarks during the meeting.

Macron also announced the opening of new schools in Kazakhstan in 2024 to teach the French language.

“The parties exchanged views in detail on strengthening ties between the two countries in the fields of education and culture, and also discussed topical issues on the international agenda and the situation in Central Asia,” the statement added.

The bilateral trade turnover between the two countries has reached $2.5 billion over the past nine months, said the statement, adding that France has been among the top five largest investors in Kazakhstan since 2005 with a total of $17 billion investment in the country’s economy.

It also noted that 90% of France’s trade with Central Asia is with Kazakhstan, with the two countries implementing projects in the fields of energy, mining and light industry, construction, aerospace, engineering, healthcare, and the food industry.

“More than 170 French companies and joint ventures operate in Kazakhstan. Among them are companies such as TotalEnergies, Air Liquide, Airbus, Alstom, Orano and Danone, which are the leading investors in the Kazakh economy.

“Last year, Kazakhstan and France approved a roadmap for trade, economic and investment cooperation until 2030,” it added.