The 20th session of the Azerbaijan-Kazakhstan Joint Intergovernmental Commission, held in Astana on March 5, culminated with the signing of a detailed protocol, Report informs, citing the Azerbaijan Energy Ministry.

Prior to the commission’s session, the Energy Minister of Azerbaijan, Parviz Shahbazov, and the Transport Minister of Kazakhstan, Marat Karabayev, engaged in a bilateral dialogue. They reviewed progress and planned further enhancement of bilateral cooperation across various sectors, including the expansion of export-import goods and the development of strategic projects in energy, investment, and transport-logistics.

The commission’s session was comprehensive, addressing a wide-ranging cooperation agenda. It aimed to elevate the brotherly and friendly relations between Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan to a new historical level. The discussion spanned commercial-economic ties, energy, transport, logistics, industry, construction, agriculture, health, food safety, space activities, digitalization, information technologies, science and education, culture, youth policy, tourism, sports, ecology, and the environment.

During the meeting, Shahbazov emphasized the strategic importance of the transit of Kazakh oil through Azerbaijan and the joint efforts to utilize the Middle Corridor effectively. He also highlighted ongoing projects like the optical-fiber communication line across the Caspian Sea bed and the creation of a ‘green energy’ corridor for exporting Central Asian energy to Europe via Azerbaijan.

Minister Karabayev underscored that the “Comprehensive Program on the Development of Cooperation between the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Republic of Kazakhstan for 2022-2026” contributes to the development of bilateral relations: “In 2023, the volume of cargo transportation between Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan increased 1.5 times to 4.3 million tons. The volume on the Middle Corridor increased by 65% and reached 2.8 million tons. I would like to emphasize once again the importance of today’s meeting held on the eve of the official visit of President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev to Azerbaijan on March 11–12.”

During the meeting, it was reported that in 2023, the trade volume between Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan amounted to $314 million. Azerbaijan’s investments in Kazakhstan have totaled $211 million, while Kazakhstan has contributed $114 million to Azerbaijan’s economy.

The upcoming Azerbaijan-Kazakhstan Business Council meeting is set to discuss initiatives to boost trade and economic ties. This includes integrating Kazakh companies into the Alat Free Economic Zone (AFEZ) and fostering AFEZ’s collaboration with Kazakhstan’s free economic zones. Plans are underway to establish the Azerbaijan-Kazakhstan Investment Fund, initiate joint ventures in industrial and technology parks, construct a grain terminal at Alat port, and explore shipbuilding cooperation. Kazakh companies are also invited to engage in projects within Azerbaijan’s liberated territories. The construction of the Kurmangazy Center for the Development of Children’s Creativity for 600 students in Fuzuli and plans for a new hospital were acknowledged with high regard.

Furthermore, the meeting addressed enhancing the oil and gas partnership, including increasing the transit of Kazakh oil and cargo via diverse routes and the Middle Corridor. Commitments were made to finalize the Caspian underwater optical line as part of the Digital Silk Road initiative, commence the feasibility study for the “Central-Asia-Europe” electricity transmission project, and progress in all discussed areas. Both nations reaffirmed their dedication to transitioning towards “green energy” and expressed a mutual interest in collaborating on renewable energy and energy efficiency projects with Kazakh enterprises.