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Germany and Kazakhstan: Bilateral relations

27.09.2023 - Article

Germany and Kazakhstan have maintained bilateral relations since 1992. Germany has an embassy in Astana and a consulate general in Almaty. There are a number of regular consultation formats in place that focus on political, economic and cultural cooperation. In 2012, Germany and Kazakhstan established a partnership in the spheres of raw materials, industry and technology.

Kazakhstan is Germany’s most important trading partner in Central Asia. Trade between the two countries reached 9.8 billion euro in 2022 (imports to Germany: 7 billion euro; exports to Kazakhstan: 2.8 billion euro). In all, there are some 350 German companies operating in Kazakhstan. Germany Trade and Invest (GTAI) has an office in Almaty. A German business association and chamber of commerce abroad in Almaty assists German companies’ activities in Kazakhstan and Central Asia.

Germany’s cultural relations and education policy actors in Kazakhstan are the Goethe-Institut and the Central Agency for Schools Abroad (five seconded teachers). 15 Kazakh schools are part of Germany’s Schools: Partners for the Future global network. Every year, the DAAD finances stays in Germany for some 90 Kazakh students. A beacon project of bilateral cooperation in higher education is the Kazakh-German University (DKU) in Almaty. During Federal President Steinmeier’s visit to the country in June 2023, a joint declaration of intent was signed, with the aim of supporting the Kazakh-German Institute of Engineering at Yessenov University in Aktau. The some 800,000 ethnic Germans who have immigrated to Germany from Kazakhstan and the some 226,000 members of the German minority (2021 census) still living in Kazakhstan form a special bridge between the two countries.

Kazakhstan participates in a wide range of regional German development cooperation projects in Central Asia. These programmes focus on promoting a vocational training system, good governance, sustainable economic development, the environment and energy efficiency, as well as disaster prevention. The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) has offices in Astana and Almaty.

The Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung and the Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung maintain offices in Kazakhstan.

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