In December 2015 Kazakhstan and European Union signed Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement, but its actual implementation became possible after Kazakhstan’s accession to the WTO. The agreement is a next step on the way of Kazakhstan’s integration into global economy. The agreement covers nearly all areas of economic, political, scientific and social cooperation. The cooperation is achieved through a number of initiatives including harmonization of regulations, mutual recognition of laws, unification of standards, and international arbitration. The most important areas of cooperation include:
- Foreign and security policy
Cooperation in this area is based on the principles of political dialogue, democracy and rule of law. Security cooperation is concentrating on space, crisis management, terrorist, weapons of mass destruction, small arms and light weapons. Cooperation is achieved through active exchange of information, experience, harmonization of control measures and taking preventive measures
- Trade and business
Parties agree to accord most-favored-nation and national treatment to goods manufactured in the member states. Same treatment should be available to services. The Agreement also provides for freedom of transit, cooperation on customs matters, including exchange of information. Parties undertake to remove technical barriers hindering trade. Special consideration is given finance. Parties undertake to analyze corresponding laws to remove barriers. Parties also agree not to impose any limitations on the flow of capital. EU and Kazakhstan apply a national or regional exhaustion regime of intellectual property. Principles of cooperation in respect of prototypes and patents have also been defined. Accordingly, presumption of authorship and ownership is accepted as well as customs measures are agreed. Participating countries grant access to the participation in government procurement of goods, works and services by equal, i.e. not less favorable, treatment. Participation conditions should be similar to both domestic and foreign bidders; technical specifications or tender documents should not create formal obstacles preventing cross-border transactions. However, the corresponding provisions of the Agreement are subject to transition period of up to 8 years.
- Economic and sustainable development
Major directions of cooperation in these areas are focused on certain industries and corresponding laws. The major principle governing cooperation here is the political dialogue. There will be enhanced cooperation in public finance, taxation, statistics, energy, transportation, environment, manufacturing, climate change, healthcare and agriculture. In legislative sphere cooperation will concentrate on corporate law, banking, social policies and labor.
- Cooperation in the Area of Freedom, Security, and Justice.
The ultimate goal is to promote rule of law, independence of courts, access to justice, right to a fair trial, and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. Main areas of cooperation include personal data protection, migration, asylum, border management, consular protection. Parties also agreed on measures against money laundering, financing terrorism, illicit trafficking of narcotic drugs, corruption, organized and transnational crime, and cybercrime.
Other areas of cooperation defined by the Agreement include: education, culture, research and innovation, mass and audiovisual media, civil society, sports, civil protection, space, consumer rights protection, and government service. There is little doubt that the Agreement will facilitate and promote EU-sourced investments into Kazakhstan. Kazakhstan has a history of adherence and commitment to its international agreements along with stable government. These factors paired with the Agreement open new bright perspectives for investors from EU which has been the biggest trade partner of Kazakhstan.
So if you want to benefit from the closer cooperation between Kazakhstan and the EU and increase your business activities in Kazakhstan, please contact us to consult and support you.