ZURICH: The Kazakh delegation at the consultations was headed by Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Roman Vassilenko, and the Swiss side was represented by Deputy State Secretary of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of the Swiss Confederation Krystyna Marty Lang. The meeting in Bern discussed a wide range of issues of bilateral and multilateral cooperation. The sides praised appreciated the level of political and economic cooperation reached over a quarter of a century of diplomatic relations between the two countries, reaffirming their mutual commitment to the further development and expansion of the mutually beneficial partnership.
It was noted that the visit of then-President of the (Swiss) Confederation Doris Leuthard to Astana in August 2017 and her negotiations with President Nazarbayev gave a powerful impetus to the development of relations, identified priority areas for cooperation. The Bern talks paid particular attention was paid to bolstering trade and economic cooperation in finance, pharmaceuticals, and energy, as well as the development of inter-regional partnerships. Today Switzerland is the third largest investor in Kazakhstan’s economy and fourth among EU members in terms of its trade turnover with Kazakhstan. Speaking at the meeting, Krystyna Marty Lang noted the effectiveness of the bilateral contractual framework for economic cooperation, the existence of appropriate mechanisms for interaction in the form of an intergovernmental commission and business council, and expressed the desire of Switzerland to intensify work in this direction, in particular, in terms of implementing of international transport and infrastructure projects under the Chinese Belt and Road initiative.
In turn, Roman Vassilenko told the Swiss side about the upcoming 20th anniversary of Astana, within the framework of which the inauguration of the Astana International Financial Center will be held. Taking into account Switzerland’s experience in the sphere of financial and environmentally friendly technologies, the Kazakh side also expressed hope for close cooperation in implementing the projects of the International Technopark of IT Startups and the International Center for the Development of Green Technologies and Innovative Projects that are being established at the former EXPO-2017 site.