France is an increasingly important economic partner for Kazakhstan (in 2009: 4th largest customer and 9th largest supplier), its market share continues to increase (2.1%). France occupies 5th place among foreign investors with nearly €3.5 billion in assets. Overall trade volumes between France and Kazakhstan increased in 2011 to €3.471 billion.
More than 100 French companies, or domiciled in France, export to Kazakhstan. French exports (€268 million in 2011) focus on the sale of capital equipment for the para-oil industry, the luxury sector, and the pharmaceutical sector.
Oil accounted for nearly all of our imports, the rest are mainly based on metals and metal products.
The goal of both countries is to encourage industrial partnerships and cross-investments, by developing our energy relationship (uranium, gas, oil) and contributing to diversifying the Kazakh economy by developing high added value sectors.
The 9th Joint Commission for Economic Cooperation, whose most recent meeting was held in Astana on July 2nd, 2010 and the Franco-Kazakh Business Council, established in June 2008 and co-chaired by Mr. Daricarrère (Total) and Mr. Karibjanov, serve that purpose.
The visits by President Nazarbayev to Paris on October 27th and 28th, 2010 and September 19th, 2011 confirmed the new impetus for our economic and trade relationship established during the state visit by the President of Republic to Kazakhstan on October 6th, 2009.
These visits helped enhance the development of new energy and nuclear projects, where Total and Areva have been present for several years:
Total, which is involved in the development of the giant Kashagan oil field, was able to solidify its participation alongside GDF-Suez in operating the Khvalinskoye gas field in the Caspian Sea.
In the nuclear domain, the Areva Group’s effective access, through its joint venture with Kazatomprom (KATCO), to 4000 tons of uranium per year, will make Kazakhstan France’s leading provider of uranium. This cooperation is expected to be extended to fuel assembly and commercialization. They have also provided for diversifying our partnerships supporting several major industrial projects in railway transport (assembling locomotives with Alstom), in space (delivering two Earth observation satellites and establishing an integration center in Kazakhstan by EADS Astrium), in the field of secure communications (Thales) and titanium (joint venture created by Aubert Duval and its Kazakh partner Arkor Holdings).
Promising prospects are being developed in the field of urban infrastructure (Memorandum of Understanding signed between Astana’s City Hall and Alstom for building a tramway in the new capital), the environment and agriculture.
During the visit to France by Prime Minister Massimov in June 2011, an agreement on the development of peaceful uses for nuclear energy, a protocol on air transport services, an industrial cooperation agreement between Eurocopter and Kazakhstan Engineering and a distribution agreement between Eurocopter and JV ECKE, and, finally, a cooperation agreement between Areva and Kazatomprom JSC in the field of alternative energy sources in Kazakhstan were signed.
The second session of the Business Council was held in Astana on February 14th and 15th, 2012 with the participation of over 40 French companies.
Updated on 03.12