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Canada-Kazakhstan relations

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Bilateral relations

Canada established diplomatic relations with Kazakhstan in 1992. The countries celebrated the 30th anniversary of bilateral relations on April 10, 2022. Kazakhstan is represented in Canada by the Embassy of Kazakhstan in Ottawa. Canada is represented in Kazakhstan by the Embassy of Canada to Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic and Tajikistan in Astana. 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 and Kazakhstan enjoy a long-standing partnership on nuclear non-proliferation, including a Memorandum of Understanding to provide a radionuclide and noble gas detection station to Kazakhstan to strengthen the verification of Comprehensive Nuclear test ban treaty. Despite the pandemic, the station was successfully delivered to Kazakhstan in 2020.

Canada is a strong supporter of Kazakhstan’s democratic reforms and offers its governance best practices, models and experience in a variety of sectors, including public administration, economic and security sectors. For example, Kazakhstan’s “one stop shop” approach to the delivery of public services to Kazakhstani citizens is modeled on a Canadian systems architecture. Guided by a feminist foreign policy, Canada helps Kazakhstan enhance the effectiveness of its policies by making them more inclusive and gender-responsive, representative of and responding to the diverse needs of women and men in Canada. Canadian post-secondary institutions offer an opportunity for Kazakhstani students to study in Canada and access state-of-the-art education approaches, innovation, technology and expertise. 

The Canadian Embassy to Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic and Tajikistan in Astana, manages the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives, through which funding assistance is provided to local NGOs active in Kazakhstan.

Trade relations

Kazakhstan is Canada’s largest commercial partner in Central Asia. Kazakhstan is an important market for Canada 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. Agriculture continues to be an important sector for Canada–Kazakhstan bilateral relations, with particular focus on Agtech and agricultural machinery. Increasingly, Canadian companies are providing valued guidance on farm management and along all points of the agricultural value chain. 

In 2020, Canadian bilateral merchandise trade with Kazakhstan was $476 million, down from $614 million in 2019. Canadian exports were $75 million, consisting mainly of agriculture and mining machinery, as well as chicken eggs. Canadian imports were $401 million, consisting mainly of inorganic chemicals and organic or inorganic compounds. Canadian companies represent a significant group of investors in Kazakhstan, mostly in the extractive industries. Canadian foreign direct investment in Kazakhstan stood at $3.24 billion in 2019 up from $2.7 billion in 2018.

In November 2020, the 4th Kazakhstan-Canada Business Council (KCBC) Meeting co-chaired by CAMECO and KAZATOMPROM was held virtually, drawing together senior business and government representatives from both counties. The KCBC 2020 sessions highlighted a number of potential synergies and commercial opportunities in Aerospace and Transportation, Energy and Natural Resources, Construction and Infrastructure, Healthcare and Education, and Agriculture and AgTech. A reoccurring theme through each of these sessions and sectors was the application of ICT and clean and green technologies.

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Partnerships and organizations

To develop effective responses to today’s most pressing global challenges, Canada and Kazakhstan work closely in multilateral fora, such as:

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