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Home » Blinken Reaffirms U.S. Support for Kazakhstan, Endorses Political Reforms During First Visit

Blinken Reaffirms U.S. Support for Kazakhstan, Endorses Political Reforms During First Visit

by Koby John
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The United States reaffirms its unwavering support for Kazakhstan to determine its future freely, and strongly endorses the reform agenda announced by President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev last March, U.S. Secretary Antony J. Blinken said during a Feb. 28 press briefing following his first official visit to Kazakhstan.

Blinken asserted the U.S. looks forward to seeing the additional concrete steps Kazakhstan will take to realize new reforms, adding that these reforms are an important reason why foreign investors, including Americans, are turning to Kazakhstan. He noted that American businesses were among the first to invest in the Kazakh economy, injecting more than $50 billion since 1991.

The U.S.- Kazakh bilateral trade turnover exceeded $3 billion in 2022, up 37.2 percent from the previous year, according to the Kazakh statistics. The total inflow of foreign direct investments from the U.S. to Kazakhstan exceeded $62 billion, with the volume of American investments increasing by 58.8 percent in the first three quarters of 2022 compared to the same period in 2021.

“We are eager to bolster our economic cooperation, not only to strengthen the development and opportunity within Kazakhstan but also to strengthen linkages across Central Asia, promoting the diversification of energy and export, among other investments that will benefit Kazakhstan’s people in very tangible ways,” Blinken said. 

Kazakh Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Mukhtar Tileuberdi stressed that cooperation with the U.S. is developing in the spirit of an enhanced strategic partnership, as demonstrated by the revival of political dialogue, as well as trade, economic, and investment cooperation. 

The sides also addressed the economic spillover effect of the sanctions imposed on Russia, which affected the economies of Central Asia, particularly Kazakhstan. Blinken stated the U.S. is conscious of the spillover consequences and is doing everything possible to mitigate them and create new opportunities for partners in Central Asia. 

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