At a meeting between the governments of Estonia and Kazakhstan on May 29 in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan expressed its interest for cooperation in the fields of Transport, ICT and Space.
Taavi Aas, Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure, who headed the Estonian delegation at the meeting, said that Kazakhstan is the most important partner of the Central Asian region for Estonia. “Estonia's main interests are the transit of Kazakhstan's petroleum products, bulk goods and grain through our transit corridor to Scandinavia, the creation of an online trade distribution center, and the development of a China-Kazakhstan-Estonia container train route,” he added.
The Minister said that Estonia's advantages are a simple and transparent economic and tax environment, highly developed e-services, a good logistics location and well-developed infrastructure. Additionally, Estonia and Kazakhstan have shared interests in information technology, agriculture, defense industry, education, tourism and the food industry.
The Minister stressed that bilateral trade relations were far from reaching the level that both sides could be pleased with. For example, during the peak period of 2010, the trade turnover between the two countries was 146 million euros, compared with 37 million last year.
In Nur-Sultan, Aas also met with Askar Zhumagaliyev, Deputy Prime Minister, Roman Sklyar, Minister of Industry and Infrastructure Development, and Sauat Nébajev, President of Kazakh Railway. Kazakhstan also expressed hope that soon, instead of a consulate, an embassy will be opened in Tallinn.
The Estonian-Kazakh government commission has met six times, most recently in October 2016 in Tallinn. In addition, Transit Commission meetings are regurlarly held between the two countries.
On Thursday, the Minister will travel to Uzbekistan, where the main focus will be on cooperation in Logistics, ICT and Education. The Minister will also speak at business forums. During his visit to Kazakhtan and Usbekistan, the Minister is accompanied by a business delegation from the Estonian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.