Russia–Kazakhstan Business Council speaks for more economic cooperation

NUR-SULTAN (TCA) — A meeting of the Russia–Kazakhstan Business Council was a key highlight of the first day of the 16th Russia–Kazakhstan Interregional Cooperation Forum which is taking place in Omsk, Russia on 6–7 November.

The forum was organised by the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation and the Roscongress Foundation. Discussions at the meeting centred around the general theme of “Modern Aspects of Economic Cooperation” highlighting the drivers of improved interactions between the two countries. The meeting was attended by representatives of Russia’s and Kazakhstan’s Chambers of Commerce and Industry, major businesses, and government authorities, the Roscongress Foundation reported.

The two largest countries in the post-Soviet space share more than just similar economic models inherited from the Soviet era but also common neighbours, common political interests, and cross-border ties of regions spanning from the Volga to the Altai region. This offers extensive opportunities for joint industrial and trade development, innovation, and exports.

Participants in the meeting discussed promotion of cross-border cooperation, exports, and cooperative ties, as well as energy cooperation prospects.

“More than 10,000 businesses with Russian capital successfully operate in Kazakhstan, to be found virtually in every sector of the economy. As we know, since 1 January 2015, we have been operating within the common space of the Eurasian Economic Union, aiming to ensure free movement of goods, capital, and labour. To enable it, a strong institutional framework has been established and effective formats developed for interactions among Member States. Our business people have been empowered through the provision of effective mechanisms that were put in place to enable entry into new markets for their products without having to deal with any additional administrative requirements. Unfortunately, there are also certain trade constraints, totalling about 70 today and listed in the relevant white paper, but the Eurasian Economic Commission is working to eliminate them,” said Temirlan Zhantasov, Director of the Economic Integration Department at Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Trade and Integration.

“The volume of trade between Russia and Kazakhstan has been growing at around 5% a year, reaching as much as USD 18 billion last year. This is a good figure but it is still very small considering the real opportunities that can open up for our countries in this area. We can cooperate not only in energy and logistics but also, for example, in retail trade – here too, opportunities are enormous. We need to intensify information sharing, organise joint discussions, participate in exhibitions, and hold presentations, that is to step up joint activities in any way possible,” said Vladimir Padalko, Vice President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation.

Sergey Kwan