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3 October 2008
President of the Latvian Republic Valdis Zatlers Pays His First Official Visit to Kazakhstan at President Nursultan Nazarbayev’ s Invitation

Following the official welcome ceremony at the Akorda residence Nursultan Nazarbayev and Valdis Zatlers had a tête-à-tête meeting where they discussed Kazakhstan-Latvian cooperation.

During the meeting President Valdis Zatlers awarded President of Kazakhstan Latvia ‘s Supreme State Decoration of the Three Stars.

Receiving this decoration, Nursultan Nazarbayev stressed that he regards this award as a sign of sincere friendship and intentions to strengthen relations between Kazakhstan and Latvia.  
President Nazarbayev, in his turn, awarded President of Latvia with the 1 degree Dostyk Award (“Friendship”).

Later, expanded talks took place where trade and economic bilateral cooperation was discussed.

The sides expressed the need for strengthening mutual economic cooperation by the way of expanding economic interaction and bilateral trade.  
Kazakhstan considers Latvia as an important economic partner among the Baltic States but opportunities of cooperation with this country are not realizing to the full extent. Summing up 2007, the trade turnover between the two countries increased by 9.5 percent and accounted for 200 million dollars. Over the first six months of 2008 the volume of mutual trade does not meet the opportunities of the two countries’ economy.

Kazakhstan is interested in usage of Latvia’s transport potential as a transit corridor with developed port, railway and highway infrastructure.

The sides agreed on continuation of railway container service management along to the China-Kazakhstan-Russia-the Baltic States” transport corridor, as well as on development of “The Baltic States Transit” container route between Rezekne and Almaty which is functioning since April 2003.

The joint Kazakhstan-Latvian grain terminal in the Ventspils Port which is functioning since 2005 is considered as a positive example of bilateral cooperation and a new export route for the transit of Kazakhstan’s bulk cargoes.

Cooperation in agriculture has also good prospects. Kazakhstan is interested in establishment of export oriented production in agriculture and farming, as well as in sharing modern technologies in seed production and livestock breeding with participation of the Latvian businessmen.

Following the talks the heads of state adopted a joint statement and gave a press briefing.  
In the afternoon, President Nazarbayev took part in Kazakhstan-Latvian business forum.

Addressing to the participants of the forum, the President emphasized that Kazakhstan is ready to suggest the Latvian businessmen to invest in information and communications technologies, education, healthcare and tourism. The Kazakhstan’s development institutions “Kazyna” and “Samruk” expressed readiness to support such investment cooperation.

The heads of state agreed that current business forum will strengthen mutual cooperation and give a new impetus to further development of bilateral relations.

The official visit of the President of the Latvian Republic Valdis Zatlers to the Republic of Kazakhstan is continued.

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