ASTANA –Muhammad Daniyal Special correspondent Daily Relation Times Janusz Wojciechowski, the European Union (EU) Commissioner for Agriculture, is leading the first High-Level Mission to Kazakhstan on May 27-31, accompanied by a delegation of 40 agri-food businesses and organizations from across the EU.

“Located at the crossroads of Asia and Europe, this region has facilitated trade and transit for centuries. Today, Kazakhstan remains a key gateway for EU food and beverage producers seeking to enter the Central Asian market. Indeed, Kazakhstan is itself an important destination for EU agricultural exports, worth 702 million euros (US$763.7 million) in 2023,” he said in a May 27 press statement.

Kazakhstan is the first Central Asian state to have concluded an Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (EPCA) with the EU, governing trade and economic relations and providing the basis for ongoing negotiations for a protocol on the protection of Geographical Indications (GIs) for agricultural products and foodstuffs, wines and spirits.

According to Wojciechowski, Kazakh consumers show increasing interest and appreciation for “exploring new and diverse culinary tastes.” He expressed confidence that the EU more than meets Kazakh consumers’ high expectations through the quality, safety, authenticity, and sustainability of EU products.

“In addition to my political meetings, an important aspect of my mission will be to tap into this growth potential, by strengthening and further promoting trade in agri-food products and facilitating networking between European and Kazakh businesses active in the agri-food sector. This high-level mission is a strong signal of our intention to further strengthen our partnership and our bilateral trade in agri-food products with Kazakhstan. I look forward to promoting our products, facilitating stronger business links, and forging closer connections in agriculture,” he noted.

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