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13 October 2022, 18:40

Diplomats of Belarus, Kazakhstan see potential for much higher bilateral trade

MINSK, 13 October (BelTA) - Diplomats of Belarus and Kazakhstan consider it possible to increase trade between the two countries up to $3.5-4 billion. The trade between Belarus and Kazakhstan was the central topic of the video link aired by the Belarus 1 TV channel, BelTA has learned.

“In 2021, the trade between Kazakhstan and Belarus exceeded the long-awaited $1 billion. That figure does not take services into account. I believe that this is a very good indicator," Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Kazakhstan to Belarus Askar Beisenbayev said. According to him, the cooperation between the two countries is at a very high level of strategic partnership. "Our relations have always been characterized by reliability, stability and mutual support for each other in the international arena. I believe that relations between Belarus and Kazakhstan are the model relations for many states," he stressed.

The head of the diplomatic mission is convinced that a billion dollars in trade is only the beginning: "It should be much, many higher. I would suggest $3.5-4 billion for the first stage.” When asked how long it will take to meet such figures, the ambassador said that it depends on the dynamics of relations:

"Today we are reaching a new level in economic relations. Yesterday's approaches are outdated. Innovative technologies and high-tech services are valued all over the world. In other words these are the sectors that have a very high value. In this regard, Belarus has very good achievements: biotechnology, free economic zones, high-tech park. In Kazakhstan, a lot of work is also being done in this regard."

Yermukhamet Yertysbayev, who served as Kazakhstan's ambassador to Belarus before the appointment of Askar Beisenbayev, recalls the years of diplomatic service with great warmth, tenderness and nostalgia. "When I left [in 2019], the trade was about $600 million. Today it is over $1 billion. It was my dream!" he said.

He drew attention to an interesting thing: for a number of years Belarus' export to Kazakhstan has exceeded its import from it. Moreover, Belarus' export remains pretty big: more than $900 million. “Why so? Because the Belarusian social and economic model is about a strong manufacturing sector,” Yermukhamet Yertysbayev said. “This should incentivize us. Integration in manufacturing is a good thing, we should set up dozens and even hundreds of joint ventures. Belarus' biggest assets are human resources, workers, engineers,” he added.

“Belarus should be an inspiration for us. There is no such a huge income gap there. It is a more socially homogeneous society. There is no glaring disparity between rich and poor. In this regard, we have a lot to learn from Belarusians,” he added.

According to him, the countries have built truly friendly relations: “I used to say jokingly that we, Kazakhs and Belarusians, sincerely love each other and that our relations are so transparent and candid, because ... we do not have a common border.”

Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Belarus to Kazakhstan Pavel Utyupin drew attention to the fact that the bilateral trade is dominated by manufacturing, agricultural industry, and transport. He is sure that cooperation in manufacturing should become the key driver of growth in the bilateral relations. This cooperation is already showing good results: Kazakhstan is home to joint ventures that produce combine harvesters, tractors, trucks, and other types of equipment. According to the ambassador, the main task for the future is to grow these joint ventures, deepen localization, launch new types of products.

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