The president of Kazakhstan on Saturday praised a visit to his country by the UK's foreign secretary as "important for the whole region."
Welcoming Secretary James Cleverly in the Kazakh capital Astana, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said the visit was also significant for further developing British-Kazakh ties.
"Your visit will give a significant impetus to the further strengthening of mutual cooperation between Kazakhstan and the UK," Tokayev said.
He hailed Kazakh-British cooperation as "very successful, especially in economy," but also in politics, suggesting "additional efforts to promote this very positive direction."
Tokayev also conveyed his greetings to British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and invited him to visit Kazkhastan "at any convenient time."
For his part, Cleverly said the UK welcomed political reforms recently carried out in Kazakhstan.
He noted that Astana was Britain's main trade partner in the region and that London sees good opportunities for joint work aimed at increasing economic cooperation.
The foreign secretary also hailed a tax reform program by the Central Asian country, saying it would "help strengthen mutually beneficial economic relations."
Cleverly also held a separate meeting with Kazakhstan’s Deputy Foreign Minister Roman Vasilenko.?
?At a news conference, following the meeting, Vasilenko said the Kazakh authorities expect to increase its exports to the UK to $750 million.
"Kazakhstan intends to increase its exports to the British market in the amount of more than $750 million. Our bilateral trade continues to grow from year to year, increasing by 58.7%, to $1.8 billion, in 2022," he noted.
?According to him, the UK invested over $16 billion in Kazakhstan's economy.
?According to the Foreign Ministry, about 550 companies, joint ventures and representative offices with the participation of British capital are registered in the country, covering almost all areas of the economy.
?"The areas of processing of rare earth metals, green energy, and carbon-neutral development are seen as promising for Kazakh-British cooperation. It is expected that the visit of British Foreign Minister James Cleverley to Astana will give an additional impetus to the expansion of the horizons of the Kazakh-British partnership in new mutually beneficial niches," he said.
Source: Anadolu Agency