Astana . March 27. KAZINFORM. /Balym Issenova/President N. Nazarbayev began a three-day state visit to Finland on Monday. Reception ceremonies and official talks with President of the Republic Tarja Halonen took place at the Presidential Palace on Tuesday, 24 March. Talks focused particularly on Kazakhstan's upcoming chairmanship of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). “Today we had a chance to discuss Finland's experiences during its OSCE chairmanship. In Finland, we have noted that Kazakhstan is preparing carefully for its own chairmanship. Finland is ready to support Kazakhstan when it chairs the OSCE’, president of Finland, Tarja Halonen said. She believes that a successful chairmanship of the OSCE will be important not only for Kazakhstan but also for closer cooperation between Europe and the countries of Central Asia," President Halonen said at the press conference. "We have also offered friendly collegial help, since we have just finished holding the chairmanship." N. Nazarbayev and Tarja Halonen discussed the deepening of bilateral cooperation. “There is plenty of room for economic relations between Finland and Kazakhstan to grow... Finland considers important to increase cooperation between the European Union and the countries of Central Asia. We have worked actively to develop the EU's Central Asian strategy. We support the development of relations between the EU and Kazakhstan and want to continue to show initiative in this work. The Union and Kazakhstan should seek new possibilities for cooperation in the energy field, but I believe that these can also be found in many other sectors,” President Halonen said. N.Nazarbayev emphasized that Kazakhstan considers Finland as a reliable partner in the OSCE and the European Union. The head of state pointed out that all necessary conditions for strengthening relations between Finland and Kazakhstan in political aspect have been created. A trusting dialogue has been established, main priorities of cooperation have been determined, the intergovernmental commission and other mechanisms of bilateral cooperation are functioning. “Our country attached great importance to cooperation with Finland in the framework of the European Union. We hope that Finland will play an active part in concluding a new agreement on cooperation between Kazakhstan and the European Union. The results of talks held today demonstrated aspiration of Kazakhstan and Finland to expanding and deepening political, trade and economic, cultural and humanitarian cooperation,” the head of state stressed. The issues on world policy, in particular security in Europe and regional security, situation in Afghanistan, energy security and effects of the global financial crisis were discussed during the meeting. The parties also discussed prospects for the development of Kazakhstan-Finnish relations in political, economic and humanitarian spheres. In 2008 the trade turnover between Kazakhstan and Finland exceeded US$ 1 billion and 100 million. This level increased by 56 per cent, compared to 2007. There are 22 ventures successfully working in Kazakhstan with the participation of Finnish capital. Following the negotiations, an intergovernmental agreement was signed concerning taxation, which promotes the development of the countries’ trade relations. A memorandum was also signed on cooperation in the field of education On the same day President Nazarbayev met with Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen, visited Parliament and gave a talk at the Paasikivi Society. During the meeting with Matti Vanhanen President Nursultan Nazarbayev discussed issues on the development of intergovernmental relations in the course of which the agreements on holding by the end of the current year the sixth session of the Kazakhstan-Finnish Intergovernmental Commission on Trade and Economic Cooperation and exchange of delegations of the two countries were achieved. The issues on strengthening inter - parliamentary relations were discussed during the meeting with Speaker of the Parliament. On completion, the head of state left a message in the book of honored guests. After that, the President took part in the wreath-laying ceremony to the Cross of Heroes and Marshall Mannerheim at the Hietaniemi Cemetery. The President then met with members of the Paasikivi society where the presentation of Nursultan Nazarbayev’s book The Kazakh Way in Finnish language took place. “I am glad to present the distinguished audience my book The Kazakh Way. It tells about the most difficult and bright pages in the modern history of our state and our efforts on building a modern and independent Kazakhstan,” the President stressed at the presentation. As is known, Finland currently has only a roving ambassador accredited to Kazakhstan. At a joint news conference on Tuesday with Nursultan Nazarbayev, the President of Finland said that Finland is to establish a diplomatic mission in Astana. The issue of opening the Finnish Embassy in Kazakhstan was touched upon during the visit of Alexande Stubb, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Finland, to our country last July. “Firstly, Kazakhstan plays great strategic role in Central Asia. Secondly, Kazakhstan is important in economic terms. The Finnish companies are interested in realization of IT, energy and service projects in Kazakhstan”, he said. N. Nazarbayev was awarded with the highest order of this country “White Rose of Finland and the Lion of Finland” for his outstanding contribution to the preservation of international security and development of the relations between the two countries. “It is a great honor for me to receive this award”, the Kazakh President said. In turn, N. Nazarbayev handed out Kazakhstan Order “Altyn Kyran” (Golden Eagle) to President of Finland, Tarja Halonen. Head of the State Nursultan Nazarbayev invited President of Finland Tarja Halonen to pay a state visit to Kazakhstan at her convenience.Tarja Halonen had pleasure in accepting the invitation of the Kazakh President. This week the Government of Kazakhstan has approved the “Strategic Plan of the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Republic of Kazakhstan for 2009-2011” and adopted the resolution on the Strategic Plan of the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of the Republic of Kazakhstan for 2009-2011. The Government of Kazakhstan also approved the bill “On amendments to the 2009-2011 Republican Budget Law. “Like in many other countries the economy of Kazakhstan is in a different phase. All countries are compelled to overhaul their budgetary indexes and their resources. We have to do so, too", Prime Minister K. Massimov said. “All social expenditures remain on the same level. Started construction projects will be continued”, he added. At the Government’s telephone conference Thursday Kazakh Vice Prime Minister Umirzak Shukeyev said that 208 projects with the budget of more than KZT 700 billion would be implemented in Kazakhstan this year. “392 projects to the amount of KZT 12.7 trillion are being carried through in the country. There are three main groups of them. The first group consists of 215 projects controlled through the Ministry of Industry and Trade and local executive bodies. The budget is about KZT 3.4 trillion. These projects will create 41 new jobs”, U. Shukeyev said. “The second group includes 132 projects in agricultural industry to the amount of KZT 86.6 billion. Their implementation creates 5.5 thousand jobs”, he noted. “Among these projects we will implement 124 from the first group and 84 from the second one in 2009”, the Vice Premier added. During this week Prime Minister Karim Massimov held a meeting with the representatives of INTER RAO UES JSC. The issues of further development of cooperation between Samruk-Energo JSC and INTER RAO UES JSC namely in implementation of the project on reconstruction and expansion of Ekibastuz GRES-2 were discussed at the meeting. The Prime Minister approved the plans of the company’s activity in Kazakhstan and charged Chairman of Samruk Energo JSC Y. Upushev to continue work on the projects’ realization.The Prime Minister also met with Vice President of the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC).The parties discussed cooperation in fuel-energy sector and joint implementation of investment projects. K. Massimov approved the Chinese Corporation’s initiatives and expressed Kazakhstan’s interest in further realization of the projects meeting the demands of both states. As Kazakh embassy in the USA informs, it is expected that Kazakhstan’s Special Representative for WTO talks Zhanar Aitzhanova will visit Brussels on March 29th – April 2nd to finalize respective bilateral negotiations with the European Union. Earlier, on March 1-5, 2009 the first round of bilateral negotiations with Saudi Arabia on Kazakhstan’s accession to the World Trade Organization was held in the city of Riyadh. The Kazakh delegation was led by Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade, Special Representative at the negotiations on Kazakhstan’s accession to the WTO, Zhanar Aitzhanova. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was represented by high ranking officials of the Ministries of Trade and Industry, Oil and Mineral Resources, Finance, as well as the Agency on Telecommunication Regulation and Central Bank. During the meeting with the Deputy Minister of Oil of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Salman Bin Abdul Aziz, the Saudi official expressed his willingness to assist Kazakhstan in swift completion of its bilateral negotiations and provide support during multilateral negotiations on the country’s accession to the WTO. Representatives of Saudi Arabia shared with Kazakh counterparts their experience of holding consultations on the Kingdom’s accession to the WTO, particularly, on regulating state trade enterprises, merchant laws. They said they stood ready to provide consultative support to the Kazakh negotiating team on a regular basis. During the visit the parties have also agreed to sign an Agreement on Encouragement and Mutual Investment Protection that will promote mutual investments.