Canada - Kazakhstan Relations

Canada established diplomatic relations with Kazakhstan in 1992. Kazakhstan is represented in Canada by the Embassy of Kazakhstan in Ottawa. Canada is represented in Kazakhstan by the Embassy of Canada in Astana. Immigration and visa applications by citizens of Kazakhstan are processed by the Canadian embassies in Warsaw and Moscow.

Canada and Kazakhstan enjoy strong bilateral relations that continue to deepen. In November 2013, Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs visited Astana. In May 2014, Canada’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Consular visited Kazakhstan, where she participated in the Astana Economic Forum. In October 2015, Prime Minister Trudeau met Prime Minister Massimov in Paris during the COP21 Climate Conference. In March 2016, Deputy Minister Ashikbayev visited Ottawa. In addition, parliamentarians from both countries have made numerous visits over the past decade.

Kazakhstan is an important regional player, and a strong partner for Canada in many multilateral fora and international organizations, including the UN, the OSCE, IMF, World Bank and the WTO.

Canada is a strong supporter of Kazakhstan’s 100 Concrete Steps Initiative, and Canada regularly shares its models and experience in a variety of sectors, including public sector reform, immigration policy, and economic reform. Canada is also committed to supporting the development of Kazakhstan’s vocational and technical education system, and Canadian post-secondary institutions have been actively recruiting students in Kazakhstan, providing an opportunity to more than 200 Kazakhstani students currently studying in Canada.

Both Canada and Kazakhstan are strong supporters of efforts aimed at the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD). In Kazakhstan, Canada’s Global Partnership Program, through the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), has contributed over $2 million to provide physical protection upgrades at Kazakhstani civilian nuclear facilities that house vulnerable weapons-usable nuclear materials. In August 2014, the Nuclear Cooperation Agreement entered into force between Canada and Kazakhstan, which facilitates a full spectrum of bilateral nuclear cooperation.

The Canadian Embassy in Astana manages the Canadian Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI) program, through which funding assistance is provided to local NGOs currently active in Kazakhstan. Over the past five years, CFLI has supported over $237,000 on projects that promote community development, rule of law, prevention of early and forced marriage, and expanded participation by women in public life. Canada has also contributed over $1 million towards the initiatives of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in Almaty.

Trade and Investment

Kazakhstan is Canada's largest commercial partner in Central Asia. In Canada’s Global Markets Action Plan (GMAP), Kazakhstan is designated as a priority emerging market with a range of opportunities for Canadian companies.

Kazakhstan has 15% of the world's uranium resources and replaced Canada as the top uranium producer in 2009. With 3.2% of the world's petroleum reserves, Kazakhstan is also a growing player in energy security, and is asserting itself as a key alternative source of supply to EU and East Asian markets.

Agriculture continues to be an important sector for Canada-Kazakhstan bilateral relations, with particular focus on agricultural machinery and cattle. Increasingly Canadian companies are providing valued guidance on farm management, and all points along the agricultural value chain.

Canadian companies represent a significant group of investors in Kazakhstan, mostly in the extractive industries. The stock of CDIA in Kazakhstan is valued at about $3 billion. Saskatoon-based Cameco Corporation is Canada’s largest investor in Kazakhstan.

Canadian bilateral merchandise trade with Kazakhstan totalled $641 million in 2015. Canadian exports were $117 million, consisting mainly of aerospace products, agricultural equipment, and oil and gas machinery. Canadian imports were $524 million, consisting mainly of crude oil.

July 2016

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