In his official visit to the UAE that also combined with his participation in the opening of the ADSW Summit 2023, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev of Kazakhstan had a meeting with the UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan on Tuesday, 17 January 2023.
The talks, held in tete-a-tete led to the signing of nine bilateral documents. The presidents issued a joint statement.
The Kazakh president also had separate meetings with a member Ruling Family of Abu Dhabi, UAE business leader, shareholder of the First Abu Dhabi Bank Sheikh Suroor bin Mohammed Al Nahyan, and Chief Executive Officer of Masdar Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi.
The president of Kazakhstan participated the same day in the Kazakhstan-UAE investment roundtable.
The following documents were signed during the visit:
- Joint declaration on strategic investment projects
- MoU between the ministry of industry and infrastructure development of Kazakhstan and general civil aviation authority of UAE
- Principles agreement between ministry of energy of Kazakhstan and investment development fund (KIDF) of Kazakhstan and Masdar company of UAE
- Cooperation agreement between KIDF and Masdar company
- Memorandum of mutual understanding between ministry of industry and infrastructure development of Kazakhstan and Abu Dhabi Ports
- Strategic cooperation agreement between KazMunayGaz of Kazakhstan and Abu Dhabi Ports
- Memorandum of understanding and cooperation between the ministry of healthcare of Kazakhstan and ministry of health and prevention of UAE on cooperation in the sphere of healthcare
- Memorandum of mutual understanding between public administration academy of Kazakhstan and Anwar Gargash diplomatic academy of UAE
- Agreement between the archive of the president of Kazakhstan and national library and archives of UAE
President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev and President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan issued a joint statement.
Here is the unofficial, slightly paraphrased text of the joint statement:
- The President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, His Excellency Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, at the invitation of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates, paid an official visit to the United Arab Emirates on January 16-18, 2023.
- During the meeting, the presidents considered ways to expand political, diplomatic, trade, economic and cultural cooperation, and exchanged views on a number of international and regional issues.
- The heads of state noted that bilateral cooperation between Kazakhstan and the Emirates is developing within the framework of close dialogue and an atmosphere of mutual trust and respect, and partnership is being strengthened in various sectors in the interests of the peoples of the two countries.
- The parties, reaffirming the importance of a fruitful economic partnership between the two countries, expressed their intention to further deepen bilateral economic cooperation in accordance with national interests. In particular, they discussed such promising areas as renewable energy, food security and agriculture, the mining and transport and logistics sectors, construction and development, and cooperation between international financial centers.
The Presidents highly appreciated the ratification of the Agreement on the Promotion and Mutual Protection of Investments between the two countries, noting that it will bring bilateral economic relations to a new level.
- The Parties, noting that the deepening of cultural exchange, as well as the expansion of cooperation in the fields of tourism, sports, education, science and health are important for the rapprochement of peoples, deepening mutual understanding between them, mutual enrichment of cultures and development of bilateral relations, agreed to strengthen cooperation in these areas .
- The President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, His Excellency Kassym-Zhomart Tokayev, and the President of the United Arab Emirates, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, attached particular importance to strengthening the role of the United Nations in matters of international security and sustainable development.
In turn, the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, His Excellency Kassym-Zhomart Tokayev, highly appreciated the effective role of the United Arab Emirates as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council in 2022-2023.
- The President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, His Excellency Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, thanked the representatives of the United Arab Emirates for their active participation in the work of the VII Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions, held in Astana on September 14-15, 2022. The parties agreed to continue all initiatives of the Congress, as well as the efforts of religious leaders to promote interreligious, intercultural and intercivilizational dialogue.
- The President of the United Arab Emirates, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan expressed gratitude and appreciation to the friendly Republic of Kazakhstan for supporting the holding of the 13th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization in February 2024 in the city of Abu Dhabi.
In addition, His Highness the President expressed gratitude for the support provided by Kazakhstan to the accession of the United Arab Emirates to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization as a dialogue partner and expressed confidence in the further development of actions towards multilateral cooperation between the two countries.
- The Presidents expressed their intention and support for the transformation of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia into a full-fledged international organization and the joint development of its potential.
The parties noted that the international initiatives put forward by the two countries at the international and regional levels serve to strengthen peace, sustainable development and universal values.
- The parties noted the desire of the two countries to establish and maintain an atmosphere of trust and mutual understanding on a regional and international scale, as well as the need for a peaceful solution of international issues exclusively through diplomatic means.
- The President of the United Arab Emirates, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, supported the initiative of the Republic of Kazakhstan to establish the International Biosafety Organization.
- President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev expressed his sincere gratitude to the President of the United Arab Emirates, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan for the warm welcome and high level of hospitality and invited him to pay an official visit to Kazakhstan. Invitation accepted.
Kazakhstan-UAE investment roundtable
The president of Kazakhstan addressed the Kazakhstan-UAE investment roundtable.
Here we are producing the Kafinform report in its entirety because the remarks of the president of Kazakhstan have broader relevance to the approach Kazakhstan may follow with foreign partnerships during his presidency:
ASTANA. KAZINFORM In his speech, the President of Kazakhstan greeted the participants of the Kazakhstan-UAE investment round table and thanked the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of the Emirates for organizing the event. He highly appreciated the dynamic cooperation with the Emirates, Kazinform reports with reference to the press service of Akorda.
– The partnership between Kazakhstan and the United Arab Emirates is based on two pillars: huge economic potential and business interests, on the one hand, and mutual respect and common values, on the other. Exemplary relations have been established and maintained between our countries for more than 30 years. It is no coincidence that the UAE is our key regional trade and economic partner. The UAE has invested about $3 billion in Kazakhstan, and Kazakhstan has invested over a billion dollars in the Emirates. By the end of 2022, the trade turnover between our countries amounted to $600 million. This is a big achievement. But there is still more to strive for! Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said.
He said that at today’s meeting with Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, it was decided to work on achieving the goal of increasing trade to $1 billion.
– Of course, the achievement of this goal will largely depend on the people sitting in this hall. In addition, the international forum scheduled for June in Astana will open up opportunities for establishing business and commercial relations between our companies,” the Head of State invited Arab investors.
Kassym-Jomart Tokayev named key areas where Kazakhstan and the UAE could further strengthen cooperation. According to him, our country has high hopes for partnership in the field of agriculture. Kazakhstan is ready and willing to produce and supply organic agricultural products to the UAE market. He invited both companies already operating in Kazakhstan and other Emirati companies to invest in the food industry.
– We are among the top ten countries in the world in terms of proven reserves of critical materials and rare earth metals. We are the largest producer of uranium, titanium, chromium and other materials. Many other deposits have not yet been explored. Given major technological shifts, the importance of critical materials will grow. We need investment and experience to realize our full potential in this area. To increase our attractiveness, we have adopted an advanced model contract for the development of complex gas and oil fields. It provides higher legal protection and tax benefits. We have also created the National Geological Survey and a related digital platform to support investors.
The speech noted that Kazakhstan and the UAE share a commitment to carbon neutrality. Our head of state wished the UAE success in holding COP28.
– Our country was the first in the CIS region to ratify the Paris Agreement and develop a national strategy for achieving carbon neutrality. By 2035, we plan to introduce 11 gigawatts of clean energy and completely transform the energy sector. In this regard, we welcome the intention of Masdar to build a large wind farm in Kazakhstan. Renewable energy projects with storage capacity are our priority. We hope this is just the beginning. Given the impressive results of Emirati companies in the development of green hydrogen, I would also encourage you to explore similar opportunities in Kazakhstan,” said Kassym-Jomart Tokayev.
The President believes supply chain disruptions caused by geopolitical tensions have heightened the importance of logistics and transportation networks and projects. In his opinion, Kazakhstan opens a direct gateway to markets with more than a billion consumers, including the Eurasian Economic Union, Central Asia and China.
– Central Asia is a large and dynamically developing region with high growth rates and a great future. We plan to build a range of cross-border trade and logistics centers to strengthen our trade and ties in Central Asia. In addition, Kazakhstan is a large country that needs quality roads. Together with our neighbors and the European Union, we are working to create a “Digital Transport Corridor”. Our goal is to remove all existing barriers and reliably connect East and West, North and South. We believe that Emirati companies can certainly benefit from this growth and strengthened relationships. That is why I fully support cooperation with Abu Dhabi Ports to create maritime and port infrastructure in our country,” the Head of State emphasized.
He said that he expects the completion of the construction of “Abu Dhabi Plaza” in Astana. This building, the tallest in Central Asia, will become a symbol not only of our capital, but also of partnership between Kazakhstan and the UAE.
According to Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, our country is striving to become a regional technology hub in Central Asia.
– The new vector of our development is based on the large-scale digitalization of the economy and public services. According to the UN, Kazakhstan ranks 28th in the world in e-government development and 8th in online services. In the short term, digitalization is expected to create 150,000 jobs and become the backbone of our economic development. We want to use the experience of leading Emirati companies in this area. Our cooperation with the G42 on the introduction of artificial intelligence, data management systems, and digitalization of healthcare systems is a good example of what the future holds for us,” the President noted.
Along with this, the Head of State drew attention to the fact that Kazakhstan is actively working to create a strong world-class financial sector.
– Today, 1,700 companies from 64 countries are based in the Astana International Financial Center. The AIFC has a legal system based on common international law, an independent court and arbitration center, tax incentives and a special labor regime. Today, the Center actively cooperates with the Dubai International Financial Center and the Abu Dhabi Global Market. We are especially focused on further cooperation in the field of financial technologies, green finance and Islamic finance,” Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said.
The President expressed hope that the economic partnership between our countries will continue to diversify and expand in all sectors.
– The government is ready to provide you with any support you need to do business in Kazakhstan. You can count on a safe and stable investment environment. I hope that today’s meeting will stimulate further economic cooperation between the two countries. We share a promising future. And our common responsibility is to turn these promises into reality,” the Head of State stressed.
Economic cooperation between Kazakhstan and UAE
The shorter version of a Kazinform report:
The volume of trade between the two countries in 2021 increased by 66% compared to 2020 and amounted to $709 million. In the first 9 months of 2022, this figure reached $558 million. Of this, Kazakh exports amounted to $519 million and imports amounted to $39 million. The main products exported from Kazakhstan are copper and copper cathodes, barley, mutton, and lamb.
Since 2011, the total inflow of direct investments from the UAE to Kazakhstan amounted to about $2 billion. Currently, the UAE business investment portfolio in Kazakhstan includes 25 projects worth a total of $5.3 billion. These include projects such as the launch of a poultry farm in Almaty region (Falah Growth fund), the expansion of power capacities at TEC-3 Karaganda (Falah Growth Fund), the launch of a grain crop processing enterprise in the Akmola region (Phoenix Global DMCC), etc. /// nCa, 18 January 2023