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Germany’s Zeitenwende: Turning Toward Central Asia?


The Diplomat (engl.)

Much has changed for European governments and businesses alike since Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. Since then, attention has shifted to Central Asia, to the delight of Central Asian leaders, who have received invitations to European capitals, Brussels, and have welcomed high-ranking Western officials seeking to strengthen and explore new economic or political ties.

Among the most notable developments this spring was a meeting between Tokayev and the Chairwoman of the German Eastern Business Association, Cathrina Claas-Mühlhäuser. At the meeting, Tokayev described Germany as “a strategic partner of Kazakhstan in the EU” and highlighted that German direct investment had increased by 64 percent in 2023, reaching $770 million. Special attention was paid to cooperation in the agricultural sector, which is no surprise for a country aspiring to become a regional grain and agri-food trade hub. In this regard, Tokayev recalled his proposal to establish a Regional Center for Sustainable Agriculture and praised the national presence of CLAAS, the German agricultural machinery manufacturer of which Claas-Mühlhäuser is also the chair of the supervisory board.

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