Astana, November — French President Emmanuel Macron arrived in Kazakhstan on November 1 for his first official visit at the invitation of the President of Kazakhstan, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev. He met and held discussions with President Tokayev at the Akorda, the presidential residence. The talks were preceded by a welcoming ceremony for the President of France.
The leaders discussed the current state and future prospects of the Kazakh-French strategic partnership, with particular emphasis on strengthening political dialogue and deepening cooperation in trade, economics, investment, energy, transport, logistics, and cultural and humanitarian areas.
Highlighting the significance of the visit, President Tokayev remarked, “France is a crucial and reliable partner for Kazakhstan within the European Union. Mutual trade last year saw an increase of 30%, reaching $4 billion. The bilateral trade volume for the first eight months of this year grew by 21% compared to the same period last year, totaling $2.7 billion.”
He pointed out that the two countries are implementing important projects in the energy, nuclear, mining, chemical, engineering, construction, aerospace, and pharmaceutical industries. “This is evidenced by the successful operation of more than 170 French companies in the country, such as Alstom, Total Energies, Orano, Vicat,” the Kazakh leader added.
Kazakhstan stands as France’s primary economic partner in Central Asia, while France ranks among Kazakhstan’s principal trade and investment partners in Europe. Over the past decade, the annual bilateral trade and economic volume oscillated between $2.5 billion and $6.5 billion. Notably, Kazakhstan’s exports constituted 80-90% of this aggregate figure.
During the talks, the parties identified priority areas for further cooperation, including green energy, logistics, transit, agriculture, healthcare, digitalization, and education.
Noting the deepening cooperation between the two countries, President Macron stated: “I believe our economic relations, especially in agriculture, energy, and renewable energy, will receive a fresh boost. We support investments in both ongoing projects and new initiatives. Furthermore, our cultural and humanitarian ties are growing robustly. We have reached definitive agreements in the spheres of education and science.”
The leaders emphasized the significance of positive and enduring cooperation on central issues of both regional and global dimensions. They also underscored the importance of intensifying dialogues between international organizations. Emphasizing their commitment to the UN Charter, the two heads of state shared perspectives on pressing topics on the international stage, advocating for resolving conflicts through peaceful, diplomatic channels. In this context, President Macron remarked: “We are poised to make progress on pivotal international matters, asserting our dedication to the UN Charter and principles like territorial integrity and national sovereignty. We are also set to deliberate on vital bilateral concerns.”
President Macron also invited President Tokayev to pay a visit to Paris next year and be a guest of honor at the Peace Forum in Paris. The Kazakh leader accepted the invitation, adding “I think we’ll stage a major exhibition devoted to the Kazakh culture. During this great event [Paris Peace Forum], I believe decisions will be taken on many important issues.”
Following their discussions, the two leaders adopted a joint statement. Official representatives from both countries signed multiple agreements, including establishing a French Development Agency group and international French schools in Kazakhstan, fostering cooperation on strategic minerals, producing foot-and-mouth disease vaccines, and developing wind power stations with a combined capacity of 1.2GW, and railway infrastructures.
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