Kazakhstan and EU negotiate new Partnership and Cooperation Agreement
The 7th round of negotiations between Kazakhstan and European Union on a new enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement was held on June 30 - July 1, 2014 in Brussels, Tengrinews reports referring to the press-service of Kazakhstan’s Foreign Affairs Ministry.
Deputy Foreign Minister Aleksey Volkov led the Kazakhstani governmental delegation, and Gunnar Wiegand, European External Action Service Director for Russia, Eastern Partnership, Central Asia Regional Cooperation and OSCE countries, led the European delegation.
Kazakhstan and the European Union confirmed their interest in early signing of the Agreement designed to expand the existing Partnership and Cooperation Agreement signed in 1995. Brussels reiterated its strategic interest in Kazakhstan as a regional partner, emphasizing that Kazakhstan was the only country in Central Asia that the European Union was negotiating a second generation agreement with.
After intensive negotiations, the sides reached an agreement on the entire content and the wording of the new document, covering political, legal, trade, economic, humanitarian and sectoral cooperation.
The final round of the negotiations will be held this fall in Astana. It will involve technical initialing of the draft Agreement by chief negotiators of Kazakhstan and the EU and preparation for subsequent initialing of the Agreement on the political level by the end of the year.
The document will provide an extensive framework for strengthening of the political dialogue, deepening of the bilateral cooperation in justice and security, further development of mutual trade and investments, expansion of economic and humanitarian collaboration, and creation of new possibilities for business cooperation between Kazakhstan and the EU.
Over the past few years, the EU has been the leading trade and investment partner of Kazakhstan. In 2013, the trade turnover of Kazakhstan and the EU made $53.4 billion. In January-April, 2014 it amounted to $19 billion, accounting for 53.7% of Kazakhstan's foreign trade turnover. 47% of the foreign capital in Kazakhstan's economy has European origin.
Writing by Assel Satubaldina, editing by Tatyana Kuzmina