Erdogan, Nazarbayev advance $1 billion agreement in Astana

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev oversaw the signing Sept. 9 in Astana of protocols to the New Synergy Joint Economic Programme for 2017 through 2020. The agreement involves 26 projects for a total $1 billion.

Turkish business leaders traveling with Erdogan also signed nine investment agreements totalling $590 million with the Kazakh Invest national company. Turkish companies such as Calik Holding, Yildirim Holding, Yildizlar SSS Holding and Agrobest Group were involved in the agreements.

Nazarbayev also told the Turkish President during their meeting that work continues on previously reached economic agreements.

“Many projects have been implemented, some of them are at the stage of completion. Regional issues rise both in Kazakhstan and in Turkey, and today’s meeting is a good opportunity to discuss them,” said Nazarbayev. The Kazakh President added that close Turkish-Kazakh relations have developed over the last 25 years.

Erdogan said he believes the two countries have room for more economic cooperation.

“The trade turnover between Turkey and Kazakhstan has reached $2 billion, and I think it is not the limit. According to our agreements, the goal is to increase the turnover to $5 billion. I believe that the two countries’ potential will allow them to reach that level,” said Erdogan, adding he would also like to see increased political, cultural and military-industrial cooperation.

The heads of state also discussed the upcoming sixth round of Astana Process talks on Syria to be held Sept. 14-15 in Astana.

Erdogan thanked Nazarbayev for Nazarbayev’s regional peacekeeping efforts and said he hopes the Astana Process meetings contribute to the upcoming Geneva talks.

At a press briefing after the presidents’ meeting, the two leaders highlighted their countries’ economic and political similarities and cooperation efforts.

Nazarbayev noted that more than 1,600 businesses with Turkish capital operate in Kazakhstan and said Kazakhstan will utilise Turkey’s experience in developing transit.

“We all know that Turkey is a transit state with developed infrastructure. Bearing this in mind, we proposed to develop Kazakhstan’s transport and transit potential jointly with the Turkish side,” said the Kazakh President.

Nazarbayev also thanked Turkey for participating in EXPO 2017.

Erdogan thanked Nazarbayev for supporting Turkish businesses in Kazakhstan and invited Nazarbayev to visit Turkey next year.

“I am convinced that our cooperation will keep strengthening. I would like to once again congratulate Kazakhstan on the successful organisation of major international events. Your country occupies one of the leading positions in the Central Asian region. We are pleased to witness your country’s successes,” said Erdogan, adding Turkey will support the implementation of the Nurly Zhol (Bright Path) programme.

Erdogan also participated in the Sept. 10-11 first Summit of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on science and technology.