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WARSAW, May 7, 2019 – The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan, Beibut Atamkulov, held a meeting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Poland, Jacek Czaputowicz, on May 7 in Warsaw. Drawing on close historical ties and successful cooperation over the past decades, it was stated that Kazakhstan and Poland are determined to further strengthen their comprehensive political, trade, economic, cultural and humanitarian cooperation, noting the great, yet untapped potential.
The sides welcomed the positive dynamics of political engagements, including state visits of the Presidents of the two countries. The Ministers agreed to organize future visits at the ministerial level as well as bilateral political and consular consultations between the Ministries of Foreign Affairs.
The sides also discussed trade and economic partnership, noting an increase in turnover, which amounted to $1.2 billion in 2018 and showed dynamic double-digit growth this year. Kazakhstan accounts for around 80% of Polish trade with Central Asian countries, over 200 Polish-owned enterprises are located in the country, and direct investments have exceeded $230 million. The Ministers identified agriculture, mechanical engineering, natural resources, military-industrial complex, tourism, advanced technologies and engagement at the Astana International Financial Centre as promising sectors for cooperation.
It was noted that it was important to continue collaborative work on sustainable and competitive transport and logistics projects as part of the Belt and Road Initiative. The sides discussed ways to better use the upgraded Polish Port of Gdansk in the Baltic Sea as the main hub for transshipment of cargoes from Asia to Europe. The Ministers also noted a positive impact of the launch of direct flights between Warsaw and Nur-Sultan in May 2017, operated by LOT Polish Airlines.
An agreement was reached to establish the Kazakhstan-Poland Business Council and to develop a joint catalogue of Kazakh and Polish export goods, which have the potential to enter the markets of the EAEU, EU, China and Central Asia.
Mr. Atamkulov also informed his counterpart about diversification of Kazakhstan's economy, the privatization programme, and the new functions of the Foreign Ministry to attract investment and promote Kazakhstan's export.
Bilateral cultural and humanitarian relations were also discussed, noting the 34,000 Polish people in Kazakhstan and thousands of Kazakh students in Poland. It was also proposed to launch a joint project to translate literary works from both countries into the Kazakh and Polish languages.
The two sides also noted the importance of cooperation on the international agenda.
“Kazakh-Polish relations are based on mutual respect of each other's interests,” the Kazakh Minister said. He also noted Poland's important role in global politics, welcoming the country's priorities for the second term as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council (UNSC) in 2018-2019. In turn, the Foreign Minister of Poland stressed the significant contribution made by Kazakhstan as a UNSC non-permanent member in 2017-2018 to global and regional security.
The Ministers also exchanged views on the prospects for cooperation in the formats of “Kazakhstan – EU” and “Central Asia – EU” in the context of the new EU Strategy for Central Asia, which will be adopted in the first half of this year. Poland and Latvia play an important role in the implementation of this Strategy, acting as coordinators of the cooperation platform on education.
Both Ministers agreed that the discussions in Warsaw will facilitate the development of bilateral cooperation.
The working visit of the Kazakh Foreign Minister was made against the backdrop of important domestic political processes in both countries. Kazakhstan is holding presidential elections on June 9, while Poland is holding European Parliament elections on May 26.