Kazakhstan and Belarus to increase trade up to $1 billion in 2020

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko (right) with his Kazakh counterpart Nursultan Nazarbayev in Minsk on November 29 (BelTA)

ASTANA (TCA) — The presidents of Kazakhstan and Belarus hailed their countries’ trade and economic ties during their meeting in the Belarusian capital Minsk on November 29.

Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev stressed the “historically friendly relations” between the two former Soviet republics and called Belarus “Kazakhstan’s reliable partner”, RFE/RL reported.

His Belarusian counterpart, Alexander Lukashenko, called Nazarbayev’s visit “important,” and expressed hope that bilateral trade and economic ties would increase further.

Nazarbayev pointed out that, for the first nine months of 2017, trade volume between the two countries increased by more than 60 percent to $441 million.

During the Belarus-Kazakhstan business forum on November 29, First Deputy Prime Minister of Belarus Vasily Matyushevsky said that Belarus-Kazakhstan trade turnover should reach at least $1 billion in 2020, BelTA news agency reported.

“We are definitely not satisfied with the current level of trade and economic relations; this is why we intend to achieve a trade turnover of $1 billion in 2020,” said Matyushevsky.

Minsk and Astana have also agreed on the steps to promote cooperation in railway container transport, Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev said after his talks with President Lukashenko, BelTA reported.

Nazarbayev noted the importance of transit transport. He said that over the past two years Kazakhstan has built 2,500 km of railways from the Chinese border to the Russian border and 4,000 km of modern highways. This opens up new opportunities for Belarusian carriers. In particular, the volumes of container traffic through Belarus have been on the rise. “In 2018, we expect a twofold increase. In this regard, Astana and Minsk have agreed on the next steps in cooperation in this field,” the Kazakh president said.

Kazakhstan and Belarus are members of the Eurasian Economic Union, along with Russia, Armenia, and Kyrgyzstan.

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Times of Central Asia