- Hans Weber
- December 4, 2023
Kazakhstan Is Czech Republic’s Major Partner in Central Asia, Says Ambassador Hykl
Kazakhstan is a significant business partner for the Czech Republic in Central Asia. The Czech Republic is also an important trading partner for Kazakhstan in the European Union. The relationship between the two countries has grown economically, politically, and humanely over the past 30 years. Bilateral trade has grown from $60 million in 1999 to $1.2 billion in 2022.
The Embassy of the Czech Republic in Kazakhstan works on economic cooperation, with special trade sections and experts who are facilitating exchanges in areas such as energy, heavy industry, mining, and agriculture. The embassy fosters business-to-business contacts and plans to organize several missions to the Czech Republic during the first half of 2023. Kazakh and Czech joint ventures include a Kazphosphate enterprise, banking, and a few more in agriculture. The Czech Republic also provides ecologically important technologies for mining, energy, and petrochemical industries.
Connectivity is another topic of long-term importance for the Czech Republic. “We need alternative routes to get the supplies or commodities that are critical for us. However, we regard connectivity as important in a broader sense since it serves as the foundation for growth in other areas such as trade, tourism, and others. By connectivity, we mean not just physical connectivity but also connectivity in areas such as the digital world, financial collaboration, etc.”
Green economy and green energy also play a significant role in the bilateral relationship. The Czech Republic has been a prominent partner in the major undertaking of the solar power station, which is not far from Karagandy. It was a large investment that was also co-financed by international partners. Kazakhstan exports oil, iron, and other raw minerals such as phosphorus. Heavy industry plants are major polluters, and Czech Republic participates in various projects that not only ensure supplies for itself but also contribute to making Kazakhstan’s environment safe.
Cultural and humanitarian ties between the two countries are also growing fast. Among cultural events organized by the Czech Embassy in Almaty and Astana last year, the Czech Film Festival brought seven great movies for Kazakh audiences to view. The Poesiomat project, a technical device reproducing poems, fragments of literature, and music, is another initiative to strengthen cultural links between the two countries.
The ambassador noted the Czech Embassy in Astana resumed issuing Schengen visas in April 2022, the number of which is rapidly growing. Student visas have been issued for several years, and the numbers are reaching pre-pandemic levels.
The Czech ambassador characterized bilateral relations as friendly, encompassing a diverse range of areas of collaboration in which interpersonal interactions are crucial. Educational interaction occurs not only among students but also among faculty. People-to-people exchange happens at the level of ordinary citizens as well as among people who travel from Kazakhstan to the Czech Republic or vice versa.
The ambassador underlined that people-to-people exchange occurs at the level of ordinary citizens as well as among people who travel from Kazakhstan to the Czech Republic or vice versa. Kazakhstan is considered a partner with huge potential.
Article by Prague aForum