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Kazakhstan and EU to work out a new program of strategic cooperation

04 may 2011, 12:21
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Zhanar Aitzhanova. By Yaroslav Radlovsky ©
Zhanar Aitzhanova. By Yaroslav Radlovsky ©
Kazakhstan and EU will be working out a new program of strategic cooperation in the economic realm. The Program seeks to deepen cooperation with regards to investments and trade with the EU, Ms. Zhanar Aitzhanova, Minister for Economic Integration, said when speaking at the IV Economic Forum in Astana today, May 5.

The Minister reminded that within the Customs Union with Russia and Belarus, Kazakhstan is negotiating on free trade agreement between the Customs Union member states and European Free Trade Association (EFTA), Interfax – Kazakhstan reports.

“The Customs Union and EFTA nations are negotiating not only on free trade, but also on investments, protection of IPR and technical regulation. It is a complex negotiations process, but we do hope that eventually it will boost trade turnover”, the Minister said.

Almaty, Almaty, the biggest city of Kazakhstan, was hosting the 2nd round of negotiations on free trade agreement mid-April.

The European Free Trade Association (EFTA) is a free trade organization between four European countries that operates parallel to, and is linked to, the European Union (EU). EFTA was established on 3 May 1960 as a trade bloc-alternative for European states who were either unable to, or chose not to, join the then-European Economic Community (EEC) which has now become the European Union (EU). The Stockholm Convention, establishing EFTA, was signed on 4 January 1960 in Stockholm by seven countries. Today, only Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein remain members of EFTA.

According to the National Bank of Kazakhstan, from 1993 to 2010 Kazakhstan attracted a total of $ 123.9 billion of investments. Major investors to Kazakhstan are the USA, the Netherlands, Virgin Islands, France and Italy. EFTA nations have injected a total of $ 4.4 billion.

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