During their visit to Astana, Inese Lībiņa Egnere, Deputy Speaker of the Saeima, and Andrejs Klementjevs, Secretary of the Saeima, met with Gulmira Isimbayeva, Deputy Chairperson of the House of the Majilis of the parliament of Kazakhstan. The Saeima delegation noted the successful parliamentary relationship as well as active municipal contacts between Latvia and Kazakhstan; they serve as a good basis for developing cooperation in other areas, including economy. The representatives of the Saeima emphasised that Kazakhstan is already Latvia’s main trade partner in Central Asia.
During the meeting the officials of the Saeima acknowledged that Latvia is interested in working together with Kazakhstan by creating joint logistics and shipping services between China and Europe. Latvia’s geographical situation and infrastructure combined with Kazakhstan’s crucial role in the development of the new Silk Road is a good foundation for a strategic partnership.
On behalf of her parliament, the Deputy Chairperson of the House of the Majilis of the parliament of Kazakhstan expressed interest in Latvia’s experience with reforms in the period leading up to joining the EU. She said that the desire of Kazakhstan’s MPs to collaborate with their Latvian counterparts is proven by the fact that there are 38 members in the group for interparliamentary relations with the Saeima.
Furthermore, the Deputy Chairperson of the House of the Majilis stressed that the parliament of Kazakhstan greatly appreciates Latvia being the first EU member state to ratify the EU-Kazakhstan Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement.
Lībiņa-Egnere, Klementjevs and Isimbayeva concurred that there is potential for Latvia-Kazakhstan cooperation in education. The Latvian side informed that over the past couple of years more than 300 Kazakh students have been studying at Latvian universities and their numbers are increasing every year. Our universities are interested in enrolling even more students from Kazakhstan by offering study programmes, such as in IT, telecommunications and other fields, that are adapted to labour market requirements and European standards, the Saeima delegation said.
Both sides agreed that the successful cooperation between Latvia and Kazakhstan is to a great extent thanks to an active exchange of high level visits; a good follow-up to this visit by the members of the Saeima Presidium will be a visit to Kazakhstan by the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Saeima, planned for this fall.
The Deputy Speaker and Secretary of the Saeima are accompanied on their visit by Jurijs Pogrebņaks, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Latvia to Kazakhstan.
Saeima Press Service