ASTANA – Trade between Israel and Kazakhstan rose 36 percent in the first half of 2016 compared to the same period of last year, Israel’s ambassador to that Central Asian nation said Friday.
“After the pullback in bilateral trade in 2015 due to the global economic crisis, trade relations were revived in the first half of this year,” Michael Brodsky said in a news release.
Bilateral trade rose to $38 million (34 million euros) between January and June of this year, the diplomat said.
Israel’s exports to Kazakhstan amounted to $18 million (16 million euros), up $2 million from the first six months of 2015, according to the Middle Eastern country’s Economy Ministry.
Israel mainly exports manufactured goods and chemical products to Kazakhstan and imports minerals and metals.
“We expect the 2016 results to be better than those of last year. Kazakhstan is interested in Israeli technology for agriculture, medicine, security and alternative energies, and Israel needs minerals,” Brodsky said.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to visit Kazakhstan in late 2016 with the aim of strengthening bilateral trade relations.
“I’m sure that the planned visit of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Kazakhstan at the end of this year will help bolster economic ties between the two countries,” Brodsky said.
Netanyahu’s visit not only will be significant in terms of economy and trade but also because it will constitute a gathering of leaders of the world’s only Jewish state and of a Muslim-majority country that last year secured a seat on the UN Security Council.