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Nick Clegg discusses trade and human rights in Kazakhstan

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has raised trade and human rights issues as he visited Kazakhstan.

During talks with President Nursultan Nazarbayev he raised British businesses’ concerns about tax and regulation and encouraged further humans rights reforms.

Mr Clegg’s discussions with the President followed a meeting with representatives of major UK companies in Kazakhstan, including BG Group and Shell, to hear their perspectives on trading in the country and with representatives of Kazakh NGOs.

The Deputy PM is in Kazakhstan to attend the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) summit.

He said:

Kazakhstan and the rest of central Asia offer huge opportunities for UK businesses. It was good to get the perspective of British firms and learn what more the UK government can do to help them. I directly raised their concerns about the need for a stable and transparent tax and regulatory framework with President Nazarbayev.

The UK government is equally committed to improved human rights across central Asia. Kazakhstan has made important reforms in this area which need to be recognised. As I said to President Nazarbayev, we hope to see those reforms go further and faster, something that would also create the best climate for business and stability.

As well as political efforts to encourage human rights support, the UK Embassy in Kazakhstan has also funded £430,000 worth of projects supporting human rights and democracy in 2009-11.