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 to Kazakhstan in Nur-Sultan. Immigration and visa applications by Kazakh citizens are processed by the Canadian embassies in Warsaw and Moscow.

Canada and Kazakhstan enjoy strong bilateral relations that continue to deepen. Kazakhstan is an important regional player and a strong partner for Canada in many multilateral forums and international organizations, including the UN, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, International Monetary Fund, World Bank and World Trade Organization.

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. Kazakhstan’s “one stop shop” for clients seeking any government permits and or registration is based on Canadian systems architecture. Canada is also committed to supporting the development of Kazakhstan’s vocational and technical education system, and Canadian post-secondary institutions are recruiting students in Kazakhstan, providing an opportunity for Kazakh students to study in Canada.

The Canadian Embassy to Kazakhstan, in Nur-Sultan, manages the Canadian Fund for Local Initiatives program, through which funding assistance is provided to local NGOs active in Kazakhstan. The embassy also promotes bilateral relations through a variety of other avenues. For instance, on February 28th, 2019 the embassy hosted the 2019 Advancing Women in Business Initiative which gathered more than 250 leading business women, senior government officials, NGOs and diplomatic representatives to discuss two key themes:  the importance of having women in positons of leadership, and the importance of mentorship as a way of supporting future leaders.

Trade and investment

Kazakhstan is Canada’s largest commercial partner in Central Asia. In Canada’s Global Markets Action Plan, 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 in 2009, replaced Canada as the top uranium producer. 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. Canadian companies represent a significant group of investors in Kazakhstan, mostly in the extractive industries. Saskatoon-based Cameco Corporation is Canada’s largest investor in Kazakhstan due to its participation in the Inkai Uranium Mine Project.

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 along all points of the agricultural value chain.

In 2018, Canadian bilateral merchandise trade with Kazakhstan was $523 million, down from $624 million in 2017. Canadian exports were $113, consisting mainly of nuclear reactors, iron or steel, agricultural equipment, and oil and gas machinery. Canadian imports were $409 million, consisting mainly of crude oil. Canadian foreign direct investment in Kazakhstan stood at $2.7 billion in 2018.