Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan Yerzhan Ashikbayev visited Ottawa, Canada, where he met with Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird, Minister of State (Foreign Affairs and Consular) Lynne Yelich, Foreign Affairs’ Associate Deputy Minister Peter Boehm and Assistant Deputy Minister Dan Costello, tengrinews.kz reports.
The meetings allowed to hold detailed discussions on a wide range of bilateral and multilateral cooperation issues. The sides welcomed strengthening of the political dialogue and development of trade and investment partnership between Canada and Kazakhstan, Tengrinews reports citing the Kazakh MFA.
They called for a more regular dialogue between the Foreign Ministries of Canada and Kazakhstan at the level of deputy ministers and offered to establish a business council for economic partnership. Deputy Minister Yerzhan Ashikbayev told about Kazakhstan’s bid for a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council for 2017-2018.
During the meeting with Minister of Citizenship and Immigration of Canada Chris Alexander, Vice-Minister Ashikbayev focused on visa issues and on simplification of the visa regime.
He emphasized the importance of opening the Consulate Office of Kazakhstan in Toronto and called Canada to start issuing its visas to Kazakhstani citizens in Astana. Chris Alexander welcomed the idea of opening the Consulate of Kazakhstan in the biggest city of Canada and expressed confidence that Ottawa and Astana could create a more flexible and effective visa regime, which would facilitate business activities and help broaden the contacts between the two countries.
During the last two years, four members of the Canadian Government have visited Kazakhstan, and five members of Kazakhstan’s Government have visited Canada.
Kazakhstan is the main trading partner of Canada among the CIS, Eastern and Central European countries. At the same time, Canada is the leading partner of Kazakhstan in the Americas. The volume of bilateral trade that exceeded $6 billion in 2012-2013 proves that.
Kazakhstan and Canada have successfully cooperated in oil and gas, uranium and agriculture industries and education. However, there are still a significant potential for further development of the mutually beneficial cooperation between Kazakhstan and Canada that remains largely untapped in the area like civil aviation, in particular with Bombardier company that is the third largest manufacture of civil aircrafts and the largest producer of railway machinery in the world.
The diplomatic relations between Kazakhstan and Canada were established back in 1992. In 1995, Canada opened its embassy in Kazakhstan. In 2008, Kazakhstan launched its embassy in Canada. The official visit of Nursultan Nazarbayev to Canada in 2003 gave a significant impetus to the Kazakhstan - Canada cooperation.