Kazakh-US Relations Overview
The United States, on December 25, 1991, was the first country to recognize Kazakhstan’s independence following the break up of the Soviet Union. Kazakh - U.S. Relations are built on the cornerstone of nuclear nonproliferation and security, and over the course of 25 years has grown to include strong bilaterial cooperation on trade, regional security and the stabilization of Afghanistan, regional economic integration, and development of civil society, rule of law and democracy. Kazakhstan considers the U.S. one of its most important economic and diplomatic partners and both countries have shared priorities affirmed in the Strategic Partnership Dialogue Commission.
Strategic Partnership Dialogue
In 2010, Kazakhstan and the United States launched the Annual Bilateral Consultations (ABC) under Strategic Partnership – a framework for cooperation on range of shared interests including regional cooperation, stabilization of Afghanistan, security, democracy, rule of law, human rights, civil society development, economic development, energy, science and technology, and people-to-people contacts. In accordance with the Action Plan, the parties created working groups that collaborate on these priority issues. Foreign Minister Idrissov and Secretary Kerry held the third meeting of the SPD on December 10, 2014 in Washington, D.C. A joint statement highlighted the broad cooperation between Kazakhstan and the United States and reaffirmed their commitment to further deepen the strategic partnership.
The fourth Strategic Partnership Dialogue took place in Washington, D.C. on March 9, 2016, and respective delegations were led by Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Nisha Biswal and Deputy Foreign Minister Yerzhan Ashikbayev.
— Nisha Biswal (@NishaBiswal) March 8, 2016
Secretary of State John Kerry traveled to Astana on November 2, 2015 for bilateral discussions with President Nazarbayev. In Astana, the Secretary participated in the fourth meeting of the U.S.- Kazakhstan Strategic Partnership Dialogue and spoke at Nazarbayev University about Kazakhstan's role in meeting global challenges and solving our most pressing issues. More specifically, during the Secretary's visit, the United States and Kazakhstan underscored their support for the Minsk process, and expanding economic cooperation with Ukraine. The United States welcomed Kazakhstan’s leadership in supporting security and development in Afghanistan, advancing regional economic integration in Central Asia, and leadership in affirming the C5+1 framework as a means of stability and development in Central Asia. Both sides pledged to deepen their cooperation in countering the threats of ISIL, terrorism, and violent extremism, and the United States thanked Kazakhstan for hosting a regional conference on countering violent extremism in June 2015. Kazakhstan - United States Relations are rooted in the commitment to democracy and human rights in Kazakhstan, including efforts to strengthen institutions such as independent media and local government, and expand the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty that concluded in February 2015.
Kazakhstan presents attractive investment opportunities for American investors and companies, who have directed more foreign direct investment into Kazakhstan than any other country in the region. The US recently passed The Netherlands as the largest foreign direct investor in Kazakhstan - a credit to attractive government-provided economic incentives, increased foreign investor protections and improved rule of law in Kazakhstan. The United States-Kazakhstan Bilateral Investment Treaty came into force in 1994, and the United States and Kazakhstan signed an Investment Incentive Agreement in 1992.
Kazakhstan's Ambassador to the United States, Kairat Umarov, has been proactive in presenting Kazakhstan as a investment and export destination for American investors and companies, particularly small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Ambassador Umarov believes American SMEs and family businesses have a knowledge and expertise - acquired through technical innovation and generations of doing business - that can support the smart and efficient modernization of Kazakhstan's priority sectors.