Kazakhstan, Belarus set to increase trade, jointly enter Chinese market

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NUR-SULTAN (TCA) — Kazakhstan hopes to increase trade with Belarus, Kazakhstan’s Ambassador to Belarus Askar Beisenbayev said during a meeting with Belarus First Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandr Turchin in Minsk on September 18, Belarus’s BelTA news agency reported.

According to Beisenbayev, the potential of trade and economic relations between Belarus and Kazakhstan has not been fully realized and the two countries need to increase the volume of trade.

The ambassador named setting up joint ventures and joint entry into the Chinese market among the promising areas of cooperation.

“Cooperation between Belarus and Kazakhstan is at a high level. This year, the trade looks set to exceed $900 million, approaching $1 billion,” Aleksandr Turchin said. “We will propose Kazakhstan to become our anchor point in the region in some way and to export joint goods from there. Now we are looking into this and we will discuss specific proposals later.”

The Belarusian first deputy prime minister said that the strategic cooperation between Belarus and Kazakhstan has been growing. The countries are preparing Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko’s visit to Kazakhstan in October 2019 and a session of the Belarusian-Kazakhstan intergovernmental commission.

According to Turchin, a number of issues should be discussed and settled. They include an agreement in the oil sector and a possible acquisition by Kazakhstan of a stake in Belarus’s Gomselmash agricultural machinery plant.

At a press conference on September 16, Ambassador Beisenbayev said that Kazakhstan is in talks with Belarus’s oil industry concern Belneftekhim on a possible supply of Kazakh oil to Belarus. “We hope that an appropriate agreement will be signed during Aleksandr Lukashenko’s visit to Kazakhstan,” the ambassador said.

In January-July 2019, Belarus-Kazakhstan trade amounted to $549.4 million (up 6.6% year-on-year), with Belarusian exports totaling $458.3 million (an increase of 1.3%). Belarus’ major exports to Kazakhstan are tractors, harvesters, trucks, furniture, milk and dairy products, sugar, and beef.

Sergey Kwan

TCA