On May 1, 2016 the application of certain provisions of the Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (EPCA) began, which are within the competence of the European Union. For the EPCA to enter into force in full, it requires ratification by all 28 member states of the EU and the European Parliament.

The document covers 29 spheres of interaction, including issues of international, regional security, trade, investment, infrastructure development, as well as innovations, culture, sports and tourism.

Currently, the Agreement has been ratified by 9 EU member states (Latvia – in July 2016, Slovakia – in September 2016, Lithuania, the Czech Republic – in November 2016, Bulgaria, Poland – in January 2017, Hungary, Denmark – in February 2017, Finland – in March 2017). Official confirmation of ratifications by Austria, Germany, Romania and Sweden are expected in the near future.

In November 2016, the Council of the EU preliminarily approved the EPCA and introduced it for consideration in the European Parliament.

The agreement allows the parties to conduct a dialogue on a wide range of issues and opens up a qualitatively new stage of the Kazakhstan-European relations.

In the development of the existing provisions of the EPCA, the first meetings of the Cooperation Committee in the Trade Configuration and the Subcommittee on Customs Affairs were successfully held, and the 15th Session of the RK-EU Cooperation Council (04.10.2016) and 16th Session of the Cooperation Committee of the RK-EU (28.03.2017) were convened.

Joint implementation of the new Agreement will contribute to the further growth of mutual trade between Kazakhstan and the EU, expansion of economic exchanges, attraction of investments and new technologies, which, in turn, will generate new opportunities for economic growth and employment creation.

For reference: According to the State Revenue Committee of the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Kazakhstan, foreign trade turnover of Kazakhstan with the EU countries in 2016 amounted to 24.1 billion dollars (exports – 18.4 billion dollars, imports – 5.7 billion US dollars), which corresponds to 50% of the total foreign trade of the Republic of Kazakhstan in the amount of 48.3 billion dollars.

According to the statistical data of the National Bank of the Republic of Kazakhstan for 2016, gross inflow of direct investments from the European Union amounted to 10.794 billion US dollars (52.3% of the total volume of investments attracted to the economy of Kazakhstan in 2016).