Kazakhstan and Russia discuss expansion of trade, economic and investment cooperation

ASTANA (TCA) — On November 1, President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev received the Head of the Russian Government Dmitry Medvedev, who arrived in Astana on an official visit. After that, the Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Bakytzhan Sagintayev held a meeting with his Russian counterpart, the official website of the Prime Minister of Kazakhstan reported.

At the meeting, the sides discussed expansion of trade, economic, investment, and integration interaction, as well as the current and future projects in the fields of fuel and energy, transport and transit, cooperation in the field of high technologies, as well as issues of the Baikonur cosmodrome.

Medvedev said that bilateral relations between Kazakhstan and Russia are at a very high level.

“Just now, talking with the President of the country Nursultan Abishevich Nazarbayev, we said that we can talk about our relations for a long time, but we can say very briefly: they are at a very high level, we are strategic partners. At the same time, our countries face enormous large-scale tasks … It is very important that we are in constant contact,” said Medvedev.

The parties noted the increase in trade turnover between Kazakhstan and Russia. At the same time, prospects for a further increase in the volume of trade were considered.

One of the most important areas of bilateral cooperation is the transport and transit sphere, which can become one of the most powerful drivers of the economies of the two countries. Here, according to the participants of the meeting, it is necessary to create a modern, reliable, stable, economically viable transport corridor for external partners. A pressing issue today is the creation of a high-speed freight and passenger transit corridor “Eurasia” in the direction of China – Kazakhstan – Europe.

The construction of new transport corridors will create conditions for economic growth, will open up additional opportunities for the regions, increase their investment attractiveness, and will contribute to enhancing cooperation between the two countries.

Special attention during the meeting was paid to the issues of cooperation within the Astana International Financial Center, where unprecedented conditions were provided for investors who have no analogues in the post-Soviet space. Sagintayev also drew attention to the privatization program carried out in Kazakhstan and encouraged Russian investors to actively participate in it.

The trade turnover between Kazakhstan and Russia in January-August 2018 amounted to $11.3 billion, which is 8.3% higher than in the same period of the previous year ($10.4 billion). In January-August 2018, exports from Kazakhstan to Russia grew by 13.3% and amounted to $3.4 billion. Over the past 13 years (from 2005 to 2nd quarter of 2018), the gross inflow of direct investment from the Russian Federation to Kazakhstan amounted to $13.4 billion, gross Kazakhstani direct investment in the Russian Federation amounted to about $4 billion.

In Kazakhstan, there are more than 9 thousand active legal entities with Russian participation. Currently, joint work is being carried out with the Russian side on a number of investment projects worth about $4 billion in the chemical and petrochemical industry, agriculture, engineering, metallurgy, tourism and light industry.

Sergey Kwan