Despite the geographic barriers, Kazakhstan has vowed to dedicate more priority to the development of a multi-aspect relationship with Indonesia, an envoy has said.
“We attach priority to countries, such as Indonesia, who play a leading role in ASEAN. Indonesia is known across the world as one of the most dynamic developing countries,” Kazakhstan’s Ambassador to Indonesia Askhat Orazbay told The Jakarta Post.
Orazbay acknowledged that after the collapse of the Soviet Union 21 years ago, Kazakhstan, a new
country, focused on its relationships with its immediate neighbors. However, gradually it had expanded ties to other states and different regions.
“It is very unfortunate that during the past 20 years we could not establish direct relationships due to reasons such as the Asian financial crisis but now is the time,” he said.
The establishment of embassy’s in Jakarta and Kazakhstan’s capital Astana provided the ground for the further development of bilateral ties.
Previously, Kazakhstan covered its connection with Indonesia from Malaysia. However, this was neither convenient nor was it equal to the significant role Indonesia plays in the region, Orazbay said.
“Establishing an Embassy proves our seriousness and determination to developing relations with Indonesia in different fields, such as agriculture, industry, pharmaceutical, gas and oil, transportation infrastructure and machinery manufacture,” he noted.
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev, during his visit to Jakarta in April, agreed to set target levels for the two countries to achieve through bilateral trade within the next five years.
The two countries will boost economic cooperation particularly in the sectors of investment and trade and energy. Specifically, agreeing to work together in the wheat, cotton and rubber industries, as well as in the production and exploration of oil.
During Nazarbayev’s visit, businesspeople from the two countries also reached agreements on collaborative projects. One of which — between PT Multistrada and its Kazakhstan counterpart — establishes a joint venture to produce tires in Kazakhstan with a value of investment of US$100 million.
Orazbay underlined that this would be the start of further cooperation for mutual benefit, adding that a custom union between Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus would be an advantage for Indonesian companies investing in Kazakhstan.
A custom union policy means that there are no custom taxes between the signing countries; the policy has given easier access for Indonesian companies to other countries.
“Whatever we produce in Kazakhstan can be transported to Russia and Belarus without an additional tax payment,” he said.
Kazakhstan will also develop closer political ties and people-to people contact.
The two countries will also support each other in multilateral forums such as the UN and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.