Postponed due to COVID-19 pandemic and travel restrictions. Rescheduled date to be announced.
8:00 – 9:00 a.m. Registration and Breakfast
9:00 a.m. Welcome Remarks
9:30 a.m. Keynote Addresses
10:00 – 11:30 a.m. U.S. – Kazakhstan Relations: Building a Momentum
For many years, leaders of the United States and Kazakhstan have referred to their relationship as an “enhanced” strategic partnership. The United States remains fully committed to Kazakhstan’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, and self-determination. As the only country in Central Asia with which the United States maintains an actively functioning strategic partnership, Kazakhstan is a vital ally in advancing political, security, and economic goals in the region. Moving forward, Washington and Nur-Sultan can greatly build on the relationship, following the 2018 commitment between President Trump and former President Nazarbayev to an Enhanced Strategic Partnership for the 21st Century.
11:30 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. Coffee Break
11:45 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. Kazakhstan Multi-Vector Foreign Policy: Key to Regional Cooperation
Kazakhstan sits at an important point in the post-Soviet world. Its regional neighbors, historical partners, and outside interests define the need to maintain a balanced foreign policy. Kazakhstan is committed to maintaining its partnerships and engagements, specifically those involving China, the United States, and the European Union. Regarding regional neighbors and Russia, Nur-Sultan has repeatedly stressed its involvement in the Eurasian Economic Union as confined to economic issues. Common interests between Kazakhstan and the United States should make for it as a strong American partner in the region.
12:45 – 2:00 p.m. Lunch
2:00 – 3:15 p.m. Growing Strong U.S. – Kazakhstan Economic and Trade Ties
The future is bright for economic ties between Washington and Nur-Sultan. Since 1992, the U.S. has consistently been a top investor in the Kazakh economy. However, several obstacles remain, including the Jackson-Vanik amendment to the 1974 U.S. Trade Act and Kazakhstan’s membership in Moscow’s Eurasian Economic Union. As an oil rich country and investment magnet, Kazakhstan’s economic and trade ties with the U.S. have the potential for significant expansion.
3:15 – 3:30 p.m. Coffee Break
3:30 – 5:00 p.m. Defense and Security Cooperation
With the increasing complexity of Central Asia’s security environment, an enhanced strategic partnership between the U.S. and Kazakhstan is critical for defense and security. Improved defense cooperation includes upgrading Kazakhstan’s military engagement with the U.S., modernizing its forces and peace-keeping capabilities. Washington has the opportunity to take the lead on this long-established goal, which will open the door for enhanced interaction between NATO and Kazakhstan. Further, U.S. Members of Congress have referred to Kazakhstan as an important ally in the fight against Islamic extremism. Improving defense and security cooperation will serve the long-term interests of both nations.
5:00 – 6:00 p.m. People to People Cooperation: Moving Forward
There is significant success in the field of education and cultural cooperation between Washington and Nur-Sultan. Large numbers of students from Kazakhstan are able to receive graduate education in the United States through funded programs such as the Bolashak scholarship. Washington has encouraged Kazakhstan’s efforts to increase English language proficiency, such as through the programs at Nazarbayev University in Astana, and pledged to offer support for Kazakhstan schools. Moving forward, investments in developing human capital are expected to begin returns that will sustain the global competitiveness of both countries. Educational institutions in the United States can look to Kazakhstan as an important country for partnership. In acting on such opportunities, they will greatly strengthen the ties between Washington and Nur-Sultan.
6:00 p.m. Reception
Resource Center for American and Democratic Studies
Al-Farabi Kazakh National University, Almaty