Kazakhstan and Belarus set to expand trade and economic cooperation

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ASTANA (TCA) — Belarus is going to restore its trade with Kazakhstan to $1 billion, Belarusian Prime Minister Andrei Kobyakov said during a meeting with Kazakhstan’s parliamentary delegation headed by Mazhilis Speaker Nurlan Nigmatulin in Minsk on March 16, BelTA news agency reported.

“Kazakhstan is a major trading and economic partner of Belarus. In 2014 our trade amounted practically to $1 billion. Unfortunately, in view of the objective economic circumstances it has lately decreased more than twofold. The January 2017 numbers show that our economic cooperation is getting back to normal. We have set the task to restore the trade back to the level of 2014 and even surpass it in the nearest future,” Kobyakov said.

According to the Belarusian prime minister, Belarus would like the social and economic cooperation program with Kazakhstan until 2026 to be adopted as soon as possible. “We expect that the documents will be signed in August as a Belarusian governmental delegation visits EXPO 2017 in Kazakhstan,” Kobyakov said.

Belarus and Kazakhstan have launched the first stage of a project to create an industrial and technology park of agricultural and utility equipment. The two countries also plan to assemble Belarus’ MAZ trucks and Lidagroprommash combine harvesters in Kazakhstan.

Kobyakov also highlighted the prospects of co-producing drones and cooperation in the space sector. Belarus is also ready for active participation in the third stage of Kazakhstan’s modernization program. “We have a number of ideas to propose within the framework of Nursultan Nazarbayev’s large-scale initiative on the country’s third modernization. Belarus expects to take part in this project,” Kobyakov said.

For his part, Nurlan Nigmatulin pointed out the importance of Belarus-Kazakhstan political and economic partnership. He also said that the amicable and trustful relations between Presidents Alexander Lukashenko and Nursultan Nazarbayev are the key factor contributing to the strengthening of mutual cooperation.

Kazakhstan and Belarus are fellow member states of the Eurasian Economic Union, which also includes Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, and Russia.

Sergey Kwan

TCA