Kazakhstan Chamber of Commerce in the USA

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Cameron inks $1bn deal in Kazakhstan 0

Posted on July 02, 2013 by KazCham

Courier Mail, July 01, 2013

BRITISH Prime Minister David Cameron signed a strategic cooperation agreement as well as $US1.0 billion ($A1.10 billion) in deals with Kazakhstan on Monday during his first visit to the energy-rich ex-Soviet state.

Cameron and Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev also unveiled an oil and gas processing plant on the shores of the Caspian Sea which is intended to provide a new reliable source of energy for European countries.

The British PM played up the importance of Kazakhstan to regional security as he wound down a swing through the region that included visits to Pakistan and Afghanistan.

“Kazakhstan is on the rise … a country that wants to play a bigger role in the region and in the world. Not just an emerging market, but an emerging power,” Cameron said on Monday.

He also noted that the Kazakh government had recently ratified an air route agreement that offered Britain “a new northern route to bring our kit home from Afghanistan.”

Cameron added that the two countries “have opened a new chapter in our relationship” by signing a strategic partnership agreement that underscored the importance of their growing ties.

Plans to construct a European- and US-backed natural gas pipeline called Nabucco have already fallen through and Western powers are now seeking to hammer out a new strategy to establish closer contacts with nations such as Kazakhstan.

Officials said the deals besides energy also covered infrastructure projects as well as those in the IT field.

“Our country is interested in having close relations with Britain,” Nazarbayev said at a joint press appearance with Cameron.

“I am confident that the documents that we have prepared, as well as our negotiations, will give a new impulse to economic and political cooperation between our countries.”

Kazakhstan is seen as one of the more neutral Central Asian countries that enjoys equally good relations with Russia and China as well as the West — despite periodic criticism by Washington and Brussels of its human rights record.

Nazarbayev has also hired former British prime minister Tony Blair as the nation’s image consultant who has been tasked with improving Kazakhstan’s attraction to investors.

The British PM and Nazarbayev jointly unveiled the Bolashak on-shore oil and gas processing facility that operates with involvement from the Anglo-Dutch giant.

The plant is stationed on the Kashagan oil and gas field — one of the largest deposits found in Central Asia.

It is due to process 450,000 barrels of oil and 8.8 million cubic metres of gas daily by the time it becomes fully operational.



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