KAZAKHSTAN & QATAR FORGING FULL FLEDGED PARTNERSHIP IN ALL SECTORS

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    Qatar is interested in energy, trade, economic and investment projects
    Kazakhstan optimistic about development of Trans-Caspian , Middle Corridor
    Editor’s Desk
    The two-day state visit of Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev to Qatar on February 13-14 has concluded. Kazinform News Agency offers a detailed outlook into the key outcomes of the visit and prospects for cooperation.
    Tokayev’s first state visit to Qatar
    2023 saw a milestone in the bilateral ties between Kazakhstan and Qatar, as the two countries marked 30 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations. On July 1, 1993, the diplomatic relations were established. In May 2007, the Embassy of Kazakhstan was established in Qatar and since March 2008, the Qatari Embassy in Kazakhstan has been functioning.
    This visit is Tokayev’s first state visit to Qatar. During his meeting with Amir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, Tokayev emphasized the special significance of his visit.
    “Qatar is our reliable and important partner in the Islamic world. I think it is time to give a new impetus to our bilateral relations. In this regard, I propose to raise mutual relations between Kazakhstan and Qatar to the level of a full-fledged strategic partnership,” he told the Qatari leader.
    He stressed that Kazakhstan “attaches great importance” to its relations with Qatar.
    “We are ready to make every effort to further strengthen bilateral ties,” Tokayev noted.
    According to Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, Tokayev’s visit follows up on the implementation of the agreements reached at the previous meetings between the two leaders.
    In October 2022, the Amir of Qatar made a state visit to Kazakhstan. Following the visit, 12 bilateral documents were signed at the governmental and interdepartmental levels. He also visited the Kazakh capital in June 2023 to attend the Astana International Forum.
    “Within the scope of our interaction, we are interested in energy, trade, economic and investment projects,” said the Amir of Qatar.
    Packed visit
    The two-day state visit of the President was extensive and filled with productive meetings. Economic cooperation is a key element of the relationship between Kazakhstan and Qatar. Given Kazakhstan’s location at the crossroads of Europe and Asia and Qatar’s role as a major player in the Middle East, there is a great deal of potential for increasing trade and investment between the two nations.
    Kassym-Jomart Tokayev expects Qatar to become one of the top ten largest investors in Kazakhstan. So far, according to the data from the National Bank of Kazakhstan, since 2015, the gross inflow of Qatari investments in Kazakhstan made up nearly $65 million.
    In 2022, bilateral trade amounted to $6.42 million. In 11 months of 2023, the figure stood at $9.6 million.
    Tokayev expressed Kazakhstan’s readiness to increase exports to Qatar on 60 non-commodity items with a total value of $250 million. He also proposed to increase trade turnover to $500 million in the near future.
    Promising areas for cooperation
    There were several important areas highlighted by the two sides. During his meeting with the Amir of Qatar, Tokayev called on Qatar to put joint efforts for the development of an intermodal transportation network to link the Gulf and Central Asia in order to foster regional economic activities.

    Kazakhstan offers Pakistan to jointly develop the North-South corridor and the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route (TITR).

    The same idea was reiterated by Tokayev during his meeting with Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Qatar. The Kazakh leader is optimistic about the development of the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route, the so-called Middle Corridor.
    According to him, expanding access to the huge markets of the Gulf region and exploring new transit routes is a priority.He invited Qatari companies to cooperate in the development of major infrastructure projects in Kazakhstan.
    “Our major sustainable infrastructure projects include Aktau Port, one of the Caspian Sea’s largest hubs, Astana and Almaty International airports, multiple dynamic railway and road networks, as well as high-quality logistical hubs. We pin great hopes on the development of the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route, the so-called Middle Corridor. We believe that Qatari companies and financial institutions can derive significant benefits by exploring business and investment opportunities in this field,” said Tokayev at an investment roundtable in Doha.
    The energy sector is also the cornerstone of the cooperation between Kazakhstan and Qatar, as the two countries are major producers and exporters of natural resources, including oil and gas.
    At the investment roundtable, Tokayev said Kazakhstan is ready to provide ample opportunities for oil and gas exploration.
    “We are implementing the best global practices to enable substantial discoveries. To this end, I invite Qatari energy companies to actively participate in geological exploration, petrochemicals, transportation, and oil and gas processing projects,” he said.
    Within the energy sectors, opportunities are also substantial for renewable energy. According to Tokayev, Kazakhstan’s renewable energy potential is estimated at one trillion kilowatt-hours. Global players have committed to implementing projects with a capacity of 43 gigawatts.
    During the visit, Kazakhstan’s Samruk Kazyna Sovereign Wealth Fund, the Ministry of Energy of Kazakhstan and Qatar’s Power International Holding signed agreements on the implementation of projects in the field of energy and gas.
    The term sheets with Power International Holding envision the construction of gas processing plants at the Kashagan field as well as gas pipelines for Beineu – Bozoi – Shymkent and Aktobe – Kostanay segments.
    “This is a very promising endeavor. We hope that negotiations for the construction of another gas processing project at Kashagan will soon yield practical results,” said Tokayev.
    Agreements were also signed on the joint implementation of projects for the construction of gas processing plants on the Kashagan field between Kazakhstan’s QazaqGaz national company and UCC Holding.
    The agricultural sector is also among the promising areas for cooperation. Tokayev said Kazakhstan plans to increase the area of irrigated land up to 3 million hectares. Kazakhstan is also among the ten largest global producers of wheat and flour, he said.
    Favorable economic conditions
    Inviting Qatari investors, Tokayev stressed the favorable economic environment in Kazakhstan. He said that the path Kazakhstan has chosen is similar to Qatar’s. He mentioned Kazakhstan’s “open door policy, vast resources and free market reforms.”
    “I initiated a New Economic Course. This initiative is focused on structural reforms to build a stronger and more dynamic nation. This is an ambitious but achievable task. Last year, Kazakhstan’s GDP reached $265 billion. Our new goal is $450 billion by 2029. Kazakhstan accounts for 70 percent of the overall GDP of all five Central Asian states and registered economic growth of 5.1 percent last year, almost twice the projected rate of global growth,” said Tokayev.
    Tokayev is the first foreign leader to address the Consultative Assembly of Qatar
    During his state visit, Tokayev also addressed the Consultative Assembly of Qatar, also known as the Shura Council. There, he shared Kazakhstan’s vision on the current global and regional agenda.
    He thanked Amir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani for the hospitality extended to him during his first state visit to Qatar.
    Tokayev commended Qatar’s development.
    “Today, Qatar is known for its pioneering and rapidly growing economy and for its active and peace-loving foreign policy. Qatar can rightly be proud of its robust economy and prosperous society,” said the Kazakh President.
    He drew similarities with Kazakhstan’s own development ambitions.
    “As Kazakhstan becomes a more inclusive political system and economy, we are following principles of accountability and change. We are honest about our past, proud of our progress, and look to the future with determination. We are fully committed to the protection of human rights and implementing a range of initiatives, from gender equality to labor safety,” said Tokayev.
    Tokayev stressed that Kazakhstan and Qatar have “strong partnership relations” based on strong bonds of friendship, common values and mutual support.

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    Kassym-Jomart Tokayev emphasized the necessity of recognizing that geopolitical conflicts, terrorism, and the climate emergency are prominent issues in the global agenda and are eroding the framework of international security. He noted that the primary threat arises from the simultaneous erosion of fundamental principles of international law outlined in the United Nations Charter.
    Tokayev also asserted that dialogue is the only way to establish a conducive environment for reaching an agreement. He firmly believes that all conflicts should be resolved in accordance with the UN Charter and universally accepted international law.
    He stressed the importance of comprehensive reform of the UN Security Council, stating that the council’s inability to overcome deadlock necessitates increased representativeness. In this context, Tokayev advocated for greater representation of the voices of the Middle Powers and developing countries, asserting that both Kazakhstan and Qatar could contribute significantly to global peace and security.
    Qatar Strengthens Ties with Kazakhstan: Amir Bestows Sword of the Founder on President Tokayev (Featured Foto)
    Amir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, bestowed the prestigious Sword of the Founder upon President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev of Kazakhstan. The event took place on February 14, 2024, marking a significant milestone in the strong and strategic relations between the two nations.
    A Token of Strength and Unity
    The Sword of the Founder, a symbol of esteem and respect, was presented to President Tokayev as a testament to the deep-rooted bond shared by Qatar and Kazakhstan. This honor highlights the robust partnership between the two countries and their unwavering commitment to fostering closer ties in various fields.
    Mutual Cooperation and Shared Aspirations
    During their meeting, the Amir of Qatar and President Tokayev engaged in insightful discussions about enhancing cooperation in numerous sectors, including trade, investment, and industry. They focused on capitalizing on the economic potential of both countries and explored investment opportunities that would lead to mutual growth and development.
    The leaders also addressed regional and international developments of common concern, emphasizing their shared commitment to promoting stability and prosperity in the region and beyond. Additionally, they emphasized the importance of the Qatar-Kazakhstan Joint Higher Committee, which was established to further strengthen bilateral relations and facilitate collaboration in various areas.
    The growing relationship between Qatar and Kazakhstan can be traced back to their historical ties. The recent state visit by President Tokayev to Qatar underscores the significance of the partnership between the two nations. Previous exchanges between the countries’ leaders have resulted in numerous agreements and collaborations, which have paved the way for even stronger bonds.
    The mutual interest of Qatari investors in Kazakhstan’s potential and the ongoing efforts to strengthen bilateral relations reflect the enduring friendship between the two countries. The exchange of prestigious awards, such as the Sword of the Founder, serves as a powerful reminder of their shared history and the promising future that lies ahead.
    As Qatar and Kazakhstan continue to collaborate and support each other in various endeavors, their strong alliance will undoubtedly contribute to the growth and prosperity of both nations. The recent symbolic gesture by the Amir of Qatar further solidifies the bond between the two countries, highlighting the importance of unity and cooperation in today’s interconnected world.

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    Economic and investment cooperation
    At a meeting with Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim Al-Thani, Chairman of Al Faisal Holding and the Qatari Businessmen Association, coordinator of business cooperation with Kazakhstan, Tokayev noted that collaboration with the holding can serve as a gateway to enhance Qatari business presence in Kazakhstan.
    The parties reviewed cooperation in the construction, tourism, hospitality, and education sectors. Al Faisal Holding was offered to explore the prospects for constructing a landmark building in Astana, symbolizing friendly relations between Kazakhstan and Qatar.
    Investment and financial sector
    The President met with Qatar Investment Authority CEO Mansoor Bin Ebrahim Al-Mahmoud, noting that interaction between one of the biggest sovereign wealth funds in the world and Samruk Kazyna Sovereign Wealth Fund can be the primary driver of the economic partnership between the two countries.
    Mansoor Bin Ebrahim Al-Mahmoud shared plans to enter Kazakhstan’s financial market and implement a project on deep processing of agro-industrial products.The parties also discussed the establishment of a Kazakh-Qatari direct investment fund in the Astana International Financial Centre.
    Energy security
    During his state visit, the President signed a number of significant investment agreements, in which Power International Holding acts as the leading participant.
    Power International Holding Group Chairman Moutaz Al-Khayyat and Group CEO Ramez Al-Khayyat informed Tokayev about plans for the construction of gas processing plants in Kashagan and a power plant based on combined cycle gas technology in the Kyzylorda Region.
    They also intend to take part in the construction of a new compressor station, the Beineu-Bozoy-Shymkent and Aktobe-Kostanai gas pipelines.
    The President emphasized the particular importance of these projects, as they ensure Kazakhstan’s long-term energy security, and also welcomed Power International Holding’s plans to enter the country’s telecommunications sector.
    Renewable energy sources
    Tokayev reiterated Kazakhstan’s commitment to achieving carbon neutrality at a meeting with Nebras Power Chairman Mohammed Nasser Al-Hajri, appreciating Nebras Power’s interest in developing the country’s renewable energy industry.
    The parties signed an agreement on a hydropower plant project in partnership with Samruk Kazyna and discussed cooperation in reducing methane emissions, especially in the energy sector.Prime Minister of Qatar thanked the Kazakh Leader for the visit and highlighted the notable activation of bilateral relations in recent years.
    “I believe that progress that we have over the last couple of years has been significant and unprecedented. As you mentioned earlier, we should not take this for granted and keep working on achieving more progress. I am very happy to see that the relationship between our countries is upgraded to a strategic partnership. We believe that there is a quite big potential for cooperation of two states, ” Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani noted.
    The President called on the governments of the two states to focus on concrete economic agenda to ensure positive trade dynamics.The parties also paid attention to the prospects of cooperation in agriculture, digitalization and energy sector.

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