(MENAFN- Trend News Agency)
BAKU, Azerbaijan, June 10. Kazakhstan will be
in demand among the EU countries as an alternative supplier of oil
and gas, Head of EU Delegation to Kazakhstan Kestutis Jankauskas
told Trend .
Jankauskas noted that the European Commission recently presented
the REPowerEU Plan, which is a response to the hardships and global
energy market disruption caused by the situation in Ukraine.
'There is a double urgency to transform Europe's energy system:
ending the EU's dependence on Russian fossil fuels, which are used
as an economic and political weapon, and tackling the climate
crisis. The measures in the REPowerEU Plan can respond to this
ambition, through energy savings, diversification of energy
supplies, and accelerated roll-out of renewable energy to replace
fossil fuels in homes, industry, and power generation,' he
'We count on Kazakhstan to continue close cooperation in
diversifying energy supplies, sustainable mining, developing
renewable energy and the green hydrogen economy, and improving
connectivity, including via the Middle Corridor, to the mutual
benefit of Kazakhstan and the EU,' he said.
He also noted that the EU is interested in diversifying energy
supplies, phasing out coal, and developing new sustainable energy
supply sources such as green hydrogen.
'Kazakhstan is a part of this global effort. Kazakhstan already
is a major energy supplier to the EU and contributes towards the
diversification of supply sources for the EU markets. Over 70
percent of its oil exports are going to the EU (6 percent of EU oil
demand). Kazakhstan is also an important supplier of fuel for some
of Europe's N-plants,' he said.
Jankauskas added that while the Russian oil and gas will be
phased-out from the EU market, there will be more demand for
alternative suppliers, and Kazakhstan is definitely among them.
'While hydrocarbons may play an important transitional role in
the energy mix, the real future belongs to renewable energy
sources, where Kazakhstan has also a lot to offer. Some projects to
harness wind and solar power are already underway with leading
European producers. We are also interested in cooperation on green
hydrogen, as well as materials that are necessary for the green
economy,' he said.
He also noted that there are significant opportunities to
enhance Kazakhstan-EU cooperation in the agriculture and forestry
For example, he said, Kazakhstan plays a key role in regional
and global supplies of wheat.
'Productivity and sustainability can be improved in cooperation
with the EU on digitalization, modern technologies and efficient
land use, making the sector safer, healthier and more resilient,
developing organic agriculture, and improving water management. The
improved sanitary and phytosanitary system can help expand the
range of agricultural products that Kazakhstan could export. There
is also a strong interest in cooperation on forestation, management
of forests and forest industry,' Jankauskas noted.
He explained that European companies are actively supplying
breeding animals and quality seeds to Kazakhstan, operating
greenhouses, and export agricultural machinery.
'We hope that announced reforms and the new impetus to improve
the investment climate and ensure transparent business conditions
will encourage more European companies to invest in and trade with
Kazakhstan. The EU already is Kazakhstan's main trading partner ‒
representing 40 percent of its external trade, and also the first
foreign investor in the country. The EU has been consistently
sharing with Kazakhstan its best practices and standards, and will
continue to do so,' Jankauskas said.
Commenting on areas of economic cooperation that will be on the
agenda of Kazakhstan-EU relations in the near future, Jankauskas
noted that the short answer is“all areas”.
'It is indeed so, because the new Enhanced Partnership and
Cooperation Agreement between European Union and Kazakhstan, in
force since 2020, covers all 29 areas of the economy and
cooperation. We already started working together on the full
implementation of this important agreement,' he said.
He noted that at the moment, with economic and financial
sanctions against Russia in place, it is important for everyone to
enhance and develop alternative ways of connectivity between
Kazakhstan and the EU, EU and Central Asia, and Europe and Asia in
'That connectivity concerns not only transport, infrastructure
and cargo handling, but also digital, e-commerce and most
importantly – people-to-people relations,' he pointed out.
'In the years and decades to come, the EU will be focusing on
the green transition of our entire economies. This opens up huge
new opportunities for cooperation with Kazakhstan. We need partners
in our quest to stop climate change, and Kazakhstan would benefit
from Western technologies, energy efficiency, refurbished grids,
and new electricity generation and storage capabilities,' he
Kazakhstan is naturally a rich country, but well-planned
investment into the manufacturing of added-value products on the
spot would help more sustainable economic development, Jankauskas
'We strongly encourage the Government to pursue structural
reforms, increase competitiveness, and reduce the state's footprint
in the economy. Crucial in this regard is the development of MSMEs
as the backbone of the economy, ensuring that a competitive and
transparent banking system would be able to provide affordable
loans and involve more women in business. The EU, its Member States
and the European banks (EBRD, EIB) are increasingly active in this
area. We also back several projects that facilitate trade and
closer cooperation in the Central Asia region and with the EU,'
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