Trade and economic relations
EU-Kazakhstan bilateral trade and economic relations have been growing strongly since 2002.
Trade and economic relations between the EU and Kazakhstan are governed by the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) [225 KB] signed in 1999. The agreement provides for a non-preferential trade agreement under which the parties grant each other 'most favoured nation' (MFN) treatment with respect to tariffs whilst quantitative restrictions are prohibited in bilateral trade. The agreement also foresees progressive regulatory harmonization of national legislation and practices with EU trade-related standards, including technical regulations and sanitary and phytosanitary requirements, protection of intellectual property rights, and customs issues.
The European Union and Central Asia: Strategy for a New Partnership is also an important framework for relations, as cooperation in trade and investment is one of the strategy's key targets.
Kazakhstan also benefits from the EU's Generalised System of Preferences (GSP), a bilateral trade arrangement through which the EU provides preferential access to its market to developing countries and territories, in the form of reduced tariffs for their goods when entering the EU market.
The EU has progressively become Kazakhstan's first trade partner, with about 47% share in its total external trade (in 2010). EU trade with Kazakhstan is increasing rapidly, as is Kazakhstan's trade with the rest of the world. EU imports continue to be dominated by energy products (over 89% in 2009). The main EU exports are machinery, vehicles, and chemicals. Many of the exports are supplies for European oil and gas companies.
The EU is also an important partner in Kazakhstan's economic development, with assistance projects at the regional and national level.
The European Union also remains number one in the context of FDI in Kazakhstan. More than half of the country's total FDI originates in the EU.
The European Union encourages and supports Kazakhstan's accession to the WTO, as WTO accession can open Kazakhstan's way to integrating into the world economy by accepting and applying international trade rules and norms, which are likely to result in more intensive trade and investment relations.