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18 October 2018
Meeting with representatives of European business
Brussels, Kingdom of Belgium

Speaking to the meeting participants, the Head of State said that European countries are Kazakhstan’s most important trade, economic and investment partners.

- During the years of independence, about 180 billion US dollars of direct investments were attracted to Europe from Kazakhstan. We are closely cooperating with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, which during this time has financed projects totalling more than 7 billion euros, Nursultan Nazarbayev said.

The President of Kazakhstan has emphasized that the trade turnover with European countries in recent years has been growing steadily, and noted that in our country in the various spheres there are about 3,000 enterprises with the European capital.

- Alstom, Linde Group, Air Liquide, Danone, Vikat, HeidelbergCement are among our key partners, which successfully operate, open up modern production, create jobs and make a profit, the Head of State said.

In the context of expanding markets for European products, Nursultan Nazarbayev told the businessmen present about the advantages of Kazakhstan’s geographic location.

- 5 railway and 6 international road routes pass through Kazakhstan , and they connect China and other Asian countries with Europe through Russia, the Caspian and Black Seas, as well as Iran and Turkey. Now, cargo delivery to Europe from China via Kazakhstan and back takes 4 times less time than delivery by sea, the President of Kazakhstan noted.

The Head of State particularly dwelled on the issues of improving the investment climate and creating favourable conditions for doing business.

- Kazakhstan is an associate member of the OECD Investment Committee and has joined the Declaration on International Investment. We have a Presidential Council of Foreign Investors, where 13 foreign companies of its 33 members are representatives of Europe. We have introduced a visa-free regime for citizens of 62 countries, including 33 European countries, Nursultan Nazarbayev said.

Pointing to the importance of digitalization of economic sectors and the innovation ecosystem growth, the Head of State focused on implementing the state program referred to as Digital Kazakhstan.

 - We have functioning innovation clusters such as Nazarbayev University and the Park of Innovative Technologies. This year, Astana launches Astana Hub, the new international technopark of IT startups, with all the necessary infrastructure, which will become the centre of attracting IT entrepreneurs and investors from around the world. Technopark participants will be able to take advantage of the simplified visa and labour regimes; and tax benefits will be granted to them, the President of Kazakhstan said.

In addition, Nursultan Nazarbayev noted the importance of the potential of European investors in the context of large Kazakh companies’ access to IPO and cooperation in the framework of public-private partnership.

The President of Kazakhstan spoke about supporting agricultural producers as part of the state program for developing the agro-industrial sector and stressed that the key priorities in this industry are increasing productivity with the introduction of new technologies and the processing of agricultural products with its subsequent export.

- We attach great importance to tourism. We are implementing the concept of tourism industry development. I believe that Kazakhstan’s diverse landscape, rich culture and history and European companies’ huge experience in this field could bring mutual benefits, the Head of State emphasized.

Then Nursultan Nazarbayev told the audience about the International Centre for the Development of Green Technologies and Investment Projects, which will fucntion on the basis of the EXPO infrastructure and promote implementation of "green" projects in the country and the region.

 - Astana International Financial Centre has started its work in our capital. Its legal status is enshrined in the Constitutional Law, and the working language is English. The Centre’s participants are granted tax benefits up to 50 years, simplified currency, visa and u conditions. This is the only centre in the region, the activity of which is based on English law. I invite your companies to take part in its work, the President of Kazakhstan said.

In conclusion, the Head of State expressed confidence that the meeting would further strengthen the mutually beneficial partnership between the countries, and wished everyone success, well-being and prosperity.

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