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Kazakhstan hopes to increase trade with Belarus

Economy 18.09.2019 | 17:27
Aleksandr Turchin and Askar Beisenbayev
Aleksandr Turchin and Askar Beisenbayev

MINSK, 18 September (BelTA) - 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, BelTA has learned.

According to Askar Beisenbayev, the potential of trade and economic relations between Belarus and Kazakhstan has not been fully realized. The two countries need to increase the volume of trade. The ambassador named setting up joint ventures, 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 have a number of common topics, projects on which we can work together and increase this figure even further. I think 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 first deputy prime minister noted that the strategic cooperation between Belarus and Kazakhstan has been growing. The countries are preparing Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko's visit to Kazakhstan and a session of the Belarusian-Kazakhstan intergovernmental commission. According to Aleksandr Turchin, a number of issues should be discussed and settled. They include an agreement in the oil sector, a possible acquisition by Kazakhstan of a stake in Gomselmash, drones, cargo transportation.

The legal framework of bilateral cooperation includes more than 65 agreements. The interstate agreement on social and economic cooperation till 2026 is a fundamental document. Belarus provides a national treatment regime for goods from Kazakhstan in accordance with the Free Trade Area Treaty of 18 October 2011 and the Eurasian Economic Union Treaty of 29 May 2014. Kazakhstan is one of the ten major trading partners of the country in terms of exports. In January-July 2019, Belarus-Kazakhstan trade amounted to $549.4 million (up by 6.6% year-on-year), with Belarusian exports totaling $458.3 million (an increase of 1.3%). This year Belarus' major exports are tractors and tractor units, harvesters, trucks, furniture, milk and dairy products, sugar, beef.

The Belarusian commodity distribution network in Kazakhstan includes over 40 companies with the Belarusian capital and over 170 entities of the dealer network. There are eight joint assembly plants for Belarusian machines and equipment.

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