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Jordan-Kazakhstan relations to see a boost in 2019 — ambassador

By Mohammad Ghazal - Dec 11,2018 - Last updated at Dec 11,2018

Kazakhstani Ambassador to Jordan Azamat Berdibay 

AMMAN — Increased cooperation in areas of defence industry, renewable energy, tourism and commerce will be the highlight of Jordanian-Kazakhstani cooperation in 2019, Kazakhstani Ambassador to Jordan Azamat Berdibay has recently said.

Jordan and Kazakhstan, which established diplomatic ties in 1993, are engaged in several cooperation agreements — some of them to go into effect in the near future to boost cooperation and coordination, the ambassador said in a recent interview with The Jordan Times on the occasion of the 27th anniversary of the independence day of Kazakhstan, which the embassy will mark on Wednesday.

The Kazakhstani-Jordanian Intergovernmental Committee on Trade, Economic, Cultural and Humanitarian Cooperation will hold its fifth meeting in Amman in 2019 to enhance trade, economic and investment relations and explore new opportunities for cooperation, the ambassador said.

To expand bilateral trade and economic cooperation between the two countries, business delegations from Kazakhstan are planning to visit Jordan next year, Berdibay added.

“This year was a landmark in terms of the relations as it is the 25th anniversary since the establishment of our diplomatic relations.  We have established strong relations between our countries, which have become synonymous with mutual trust and friendship. The basis for such relations is built on the principles of partnership [which] was laid by President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev and His Majesty King Abdullah,” he said.

He referred to the King’s visit to Astana in 2017, where Kazakhstan’s president awarded him the first Nazarbayev Prize for a Nuclear-Weapons-Free World and Global Security, in appreciation of His Majesty’s contributions to “regional stability, global security and unwavering stance against war and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction”.

On tourism, the ambassador said that Jordan is among 48 countries whose nationals have the right to enter the Republic of Kazakhstan under the simplified visa regime.

“We are planning to launch charter flights from Almaty to Aqaba that will introduce to Kazakhstani citizens the touristic potential of Jordan, including its unique places such as Petra, Wadi Rum, Dead Sea and others, which will definitely increase our people-to-people contacts and contribute to closer relations between Kazakhstani and Jordanian people,” Berdibay said.

Kazakhstan and Jordan continuously provide mutual support for initiatives in the international arena, as well as at many other international conferences and events, he said.

“We have witnessed an accumulation of constructive experience for cooperation in a wide range of issues both in global and regional policies."

There are prospects for further development of trade and economic relations, the ambassador said. 

At the present, the ambassador said, Kazakhstan and Jordan give special attention to agriculture, renewable energy, pharmaceutical industry and tourism sectors. "One of the mutually beneficial areas is agriculture sector." 

“As one of the biggest producers, Kazakhstan can provide wheat and barley to the Jordanian market. In turn, Jordan has an opportunity to supply Kazakhstani consumers with vegetables and fruits in autumn/winter season. Our companies are looking forward to export meat and livestock to Jordanian market."

He added that the embassy is working on organising a visit by Kyzylorda region Governor Krymbek Kusherbayev to Jordan to establish cooperation in the agricultural sector such as delivering to Jordan rice, meat and flour, among other products.

Renewable energy is another arena of cooperation as the two countries are embarking on key projects in the field, he said.

The ambassador said that an increasing number of Jordanian companies are entering the Kazakhstani market, adding that currently there 71 joint Kazakhstani-Jordanian companies in Kazakhstan with the total volume of mutual investments standing at about $12.6 million.

On cooperation in counterterrorism, the ambassador said that the two countries strongly condemn all forms of terrorism and extremism, and "successfully cooperate in the international arena on this issue, particularly in the United Nations”.

He added that Kazakhstan fully supports the efforts of the UN, especially the creation of the Office of Counterterrorism, with a view to developing a long term comprehensive approach.

“Kazakhstan recognises the importance of Jordan's role in fostering dialogue between religions and in promoting peace initiatives. Jordan is an active supporter of the idea of ​​interreligious dialogue and reconciliation, ethnic and religious tolerance and peaceful coexistence of the followers of all religions in the Middle East,” said the ambassador.

“The president of Kazakhstan shares the vision of His Majesty in solving problems through interaction of world religions and denominations, as reflected in the Amman Message in the framework of the World Interfaith Harmony Week.”

On trade exchange, the ambassador said it was “below desired levels”.

In 2008, the trade volume between the two countries amounted to around $75 million. 

“But due to the regional crises and conflicts, the trade exchange volume has significantly decreased and this year it stands to only about $1.5 million. So we hope that soon with the settlement of regional crises, we will open up logistic routes for the delivery of goods between our countries."

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