Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne will visit Kazakhstan on September 6 and 7.
Following the visit to France by Kazakh Foreign Minister Kairat Abdrakhmanov on March 29 to mark the 25th anniversary of our diplomatic relations, this trip aims to strengthen cooperation between our two countries.
Together with his counterpart, Minister of Investments and Development Zhenis Kassymbek, Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne will co-chair the 13th French-Kazakh Joint Commission for Economic Cooperation with a view to promoting economic exchanges and trade. The meeting will be attended by representatives of some 15 French companies – both SMEs and large corporations. A forum for political and economic dialogue, it will review cooperative activities, detail the difficulties of sectoral and crosscutting issues encountered by businesses, and identify new approaches to diversifying our trade. The last joint commission met in Paris in September 2015.
The minister of state will meet with Foreign Minister Kairat Abdrakhmanov and Minister of Energy Kanat Bozumbayev. They will discuss our economic partnership in the areas of energy, the environment, and sustainable cities. They will also talk about our cooperation within the UN and shared security challenges, particularly counterterrorism and the security of energy supplies. .
Finally, Mr. Lemoyne will visit the Astana 2017 expo showcasing the theme of “future energy,” where France was awarded the “best pavilion” prize by Exhibitor magazine, which covers best practices at such events. The 1,000-square-meter pavilion welcomed some 600,000 visitors in June. The minister will also express support for the French candidate for the 2025 universal exposition, inaugurating the presentation devoted to that effort.
Kazakhstan has been France’s leading partner in Central Asia since the signing of a strategic partnership in 2008 and the 2010 establishment of a Franco-Kazakh Presidential Commission. Commercial exchanges and trade between our two countries amounted to €2.9 billion in 2016. France is the third-largest investor in Kazakhstan, where its companies hold a stake worth €10.7 billion. We also have a close political dialogue with that country (which will hold the UN Security Council presidency in January 2018) on international events and major regional crises.