Kazakhstan discusses prospects of coop with Japan and Afghanistan
DUSHANBE. KAZINFORM On the sidelines of the 7th Conference of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Central Asia + Japan Dialogue, Kazakh FM Beibut Atamkulov had negotiations with his Japanese and Afghan colleagues - Tarō Kōno and Salahuddin Rabbani, the press service of the Kazakh MFA informs.
At the meeting with Taro Kono, Beibut Atamkulov congratulated the Japanese delegation on recent enthronement of new Emperor Naruhito and beginning of a new era Reiwa (fortunate harmony) in the country.
The Kazakh side noted the necessity and importance of holding the Central Asia+Japan Dialogue "for this platform opens big opportunities for discussing the pressing issues of the regional agenda and inter-regional cooperation with the participation of Japan."
The parties expressed satisfaction over the state of the Kazakh-Japanese relations. "In a short historical period of our relations, Kazakhstan and Japan have achieved the level of the extended strategic partnership. The leadership of the country attaches great importance to the development of cooperation with Japan", said the Kazakh FM.
The bilateral trade and economic cooperation is actively developed. Japan is the seventh largest foreign investor of Kazakhstan. In 2018, bilateral commodity turnover reached $2bn that is 54% higher compared to the same period in 2017 ($1.3bn), mainly due to Kazakhstan's exports to Japan. Presently, there are 70 active Japanese companies in Kazakhstan specializing in such spheres as oil and gas, metallurgy, finance, ore mining and wholesale of cars and logistics.
"Kazakhstan is interested in attraction of Japanese investments and advanced technologies required for successful implementation of economic modernization. Our country is ready to create favorable conditions for the implementation of joint mutually beneficial projects. The sides agreed to continue working on strengthening the Kazakh-Japanese cooperation.
The negotiations with the Foreign Minister of Afghanistan were held in a friendly atmosphere. The parties discussed the main issues of the bilateral cooperation.
The Kazakh side expressed hope that the oncoming presidential elections in Afghanistan will be held in a fair and uncompromised way, in conditions of full transparency and security, and the Afghan people will make a right choice. "Kazakhstan remains adhered to the international commitments on rehabilitation of Afghanistan and is interested in further stabilization of the situation in the country," said Beibut Atamkulov.
The sides noted a good level of interaction in economic sector which is proved by a more than $500mn commodity turnover in 2018. Kazakhstan-Afghanistan Intergovernmental Commission is one of the key tools of trade and economic cooperation.
Afghanistan is a traditional importer of Kazakhstani grain. Kazakhstan is interested in increasing the export of its goods and asked the Afghan side to help Kazakh companies in search for domestic goods importers. Agricultural and construction materials, batteries, generators, construction materials, metal and plastic pipes are the promising goods in bilateral trade.
In February 2019, Kazakhstan's Integra Construction company won a tender for the construction of Khaf-Herat railroad section in Afghanistan. In this regard, the Kazakh Minister thanked the Afghan side for the opportunity to participate in this project.
Kazakhstan attaches great importance to investmenting in human resources and continues implementing the educational programme for Afghan students who obtain higher, technical and special education at the Kazakh universities. The Kazakh Ministry of Education and Science and the Ministry of Education of Afghanistan signed a memorandum aimed at educating 30 Afghan students in Kazakhstani universities under the bachelor's, master's and PhD programmes.