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Cramer Welcomes Kazakhstan Ambassador to North Dakota

Oct 3, 2017
Press Release

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BISMARCK, ND - Congressman Kevin Cramer welcomed Kazakhstan Ambassador to the United States Erzhan Kazykhanov to Bismarck on Monday. The two men met in the Kazakhstan Capitol of Astana where Cramer served as a member of a presidential delegation earlier this year.

Kazykhanov visited North Dakota in hopes of further developing business relationships between his country and North Dakota companies. “The Ambassador coming to North Dakota signifies the strong business relationship we have with the country of Kazakhstan, and the potential opportunities to cultivate new business dealings,” said Cramer. Other attendees included Howard Dahl, President and CEO of Amity Technology; Bill Price, Co-Owner of Global Beef Investors; Dr. Jacob Carlson, Director of Technical Services for Global Beef Investors; Chris Harris, President of CH Trade; and the Chancellor of the North Dakota University System Mark Hagerott.

During the meeting, Cramer and Kazykhanov discussed a number of topics including North Dakota’s longstanding agriculture relationship with Kazakhstan, including the value of North Dakota beef to their country. Cramer weighed in on how his recent visit to the 2017 Energy Expo in Kazakhstan was an invaluable experience that helped him understand the opportunities, specifically through agriculture, in the region. They also spoke to the prospects for the development of nuclear energy in Kazakhstan, and noted the nation’s leadership in the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons as being “unequaled.” As a display of increasing influence for the country, in January 2017, Kazakhstan was named as a non-permanent appointment to the U.N. Security Council for a two-year term.

“As Kazakhstan looks to diversify itself into a knowledge-based economy, North Dakota has much to offer through our land-grant research universities, our world-class companies, and our agricultural prominence,” said Cramer. “Meetings like this one help cultivate new relationships between North Dakota businesses and our trading partners, and I’m honored to be a part of the conversation. North Dakota is a multi-faceted state with major business opportunities both domestically and internationally. As I pointed out to President Trump upon my return from the presidential delegation, Kazakhstan is positioned both geographically and culturally to serve as an important security and economic partner. One of the things that strikes me about Kazakhstan is how similar their landscape and their people are to North Dakota.”

“We want North Dakota to be a good example of what we can do with trade,” said the Ambassador. He also emphasized the importance of the United States being the first nation to recognize Kazakhstan as an independent nation following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Kazakhstan, a Central Asian country and former Soviet republic, extends from the Caspian Sea in the west to the Altai Mountains at its eastern border with China and Russia. 

Moving forward, the Ambassador requested Cramer’s assistance in helping facilitate meetings with key Members of Congress during the upcoming visit by Kazakhstani President Nursultan Nazarbayev in January 2018. Nazarbayev will spend several days meeting with President Trump and other leaders in Washington during his visit.