Tuesday, July 23, 2019
Collaboration Quite High, Going Even Further
Marking 20 years of diplomatic relations
Collaboration Quite High, Going Even Further
  • By matthew
  • December 29, 2011, 15:15
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December 16, 2011 marks 20 years since Kazakhstan gained its independence from the Soviet Union. A nation with a wealth of natural resources and dedicated, hard-working people, it is quickly arising as a nation of significant economic growth. This coming January marks 20 years since Kazakhstan and Korea began bilateral relations. Today, 20 years on, the two countries continue to build steady, ongoing strong ties.

His Excellency Ambassador Darkhan Berdaliyev of the Republic of Kazakhstan to Korea provided time in his busy schedule to give an interview to BusinessKorea in order to shed more light on the two countries’ bilateral relations.

Q: It will be 20 years next year since Korea and Kazakhstan established diplomatic ties. Kazakhstan has designated next year “Year of Korea.” How do you evaluate the relationship between the two countries so far?

A: First of all, I would like to mention that Kazakhstan celebrated its 20th Anniversary of Independence in 2011. Kazakhstan declared its sovereignty as a republic within the Soviet Union in October 1990.

Following an aborted coup attempt in Moscow and the subsequent dissolution of the Soviet Union, Kaz-akhstan declared independence on December 16, 1991. The years following independence have been marked by significant reforms to the Soviet-style economy and political monopoly on power. Under the leadership of Nursultan Nazarbayev, who was elected President in 1991, the country has made significant progress towards developing a free market economy. The country has enjoyed significant economic growth since 2000, partly due to its large oil, gas, and mineral reserves. It was the last state of the Soviet Republic to declarein dependence The years following independence have been marked by significant reforms to the Soviet-style economy and political monopoly on power. Under the leadership of Nursultan Nazarbayev, who was elected President in 1991, the country has made significant progress towards developing a free market economy. The country has enjoyed significant economic growth since 2000, partly due to its large oil, gas, and mineral reserves.

The years following independence have been marked by significant reforms to the Soviet-style economy and political monopoly on power. Under the leadership of Nursultan Nazarbayev, who was elected President in 1991, the country has made significant progress towards developing a free market economy. The country has enjoyed significant economic growth since 2000, partly due to its large oil, gas, and mineral reserves.

Diplomatic relations between our two countries were established on January 28, 1992. A strategic partnership was established during the state visit of H.E. Lee Myung-bak, President of the Republic of Korea, to Kazakhstan in May 2009.

President Lee Myung-bak was presented with the highest state award of Kazakhstan, the “Altyn Kyran,” while President Nursultan Nazarbayev was given Korea’s highest state decoration, “The Grand Order of Mugunghwa.” The two Presidents received these awards in recognition of their contributions to strengthening bilateral relations.

In April 2010, President Nursultan Nazarbayev paid a state visit to Korea, while President Lee visited Kazakhstan once again on August 24-25 this year.

President Nursultan Nazarbayev also accepted an invitation from President Lee to participate at 2012 Nuclear Security Summit. Thus, we are expecting our Head of State to visit Korea once more.

The leaders of our countries always express satisfaction with the strategic partnership between Astana and Seoul, agreeing to further develop cooperation in fields such as trade, investment, energy, mining, ecology, healthcare, pharmaceutical industry, IT technologies and agriculture.

Furthermore, this is only focusing on mutual visits at a Presidential level, with hundreds of visits from official delegations from different ministries, governmental bodies, institutes, universities and business delegations also taking place.

As you can see by the growing number of visits and mutual cooperation, the strategic partnership between Kazakhstan and Korea continues to grow stronger.

The year 2010 was announced “The Year of the Republic of Kazakhstan in Republic of Korea”, while 2011 was “The Year of the Republic of Korea in the Republic of Kazakhstan”. In total, approximately 120 cultural events, such as concerts and exhibitions took place in different cities in both countries. In particular, the Embassy of Kazakhstan to Korea conducted cultural events in Seoul, Daegu and Suwon last year.

It is worth noting that the main field of cooperation between Kazakhstan and Korea is, of course, economic collaboration.

Goods turnover between our two countries in the first 3 quarters of 2011 amounted to approximately US$591 million. In comparison to the same period last year, this is an increase of more than 8%. Such economic indicators have been rising rapidly since the beginning of 2010. I believe that due to the world economy slowing down and a number of financial uncertainties at the international level, we were unable to show the full-scale of our cooperation capacity. However, I am confident that economic relations between Kazakhstan and Korea will continue to develop and strengthen, benefitting both our nations.