MINSK, 23 May (BelTA) - Belarus is holding talks on the delivery of oil from Kazakhstan and suggests stepping up these talks, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he met with Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Kazakhstan to Belarus Yermukhamet Yertysbayev on 23 May, BelTA informs.
You know that we are now doing our best to diversify the range of oil supplier countries.We have several areas of common interest and are holding talks on the delivery of oil to Belarus from other places. This year we will mostly complete the modernization of oil processing enterprises. Therefore, it will be easier to purchase oil on global markets. In this regard, we are now holding talks and we would like to step up the talks on the delivery of Kazakhstani oil to Belarus. I think we can solve this issue. It is important for Belarus and Kazakhstan (there are no problems here), and for Russia as far as transit is concerned. Russia is a member of the EAEU. I think we will agree on some oil deliveries from Kazakhstan with a country which is close for us,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
The head of state remarked that there are no problems in the trade and economic relations of Belarus and Kazakhstan. “There is a certain imbalance in trade in favor of Belarus, but you should know that Kazakhstan produces many things that we need, ranging from cotton to metals. We are ready to buy your grain just like in Soviet times. Therefore, we can easily balance out our bilateral trade. I think our intergovernmental commission should work on it,” the president said.
Aleksandr Lukashenko said that the countries and their leaders had always maintained good relations. “We have built a rather clear system of relations between Belarus and Kazakhstan, the trade turnover between our states has almost reached $1 billion. The potential is huge,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said. In his words, the participation of the two countries in China's Belt and Road initiative contributes to the development of bilateral relations. There is the free economic zone Khorgos – Eastern Gates in Kazakhstan, the industrial park Great Stone in Belarus. The president believes that the countries should step up cooperation in this field.
Last year the trade turnover between Belarus and Kazakhstan went up almost 30% to reach $900 million as against 2017. Belarus' export exceeded $783 million. In Q1 2019, the bilateral trade fell by nearly 10% from the same period of 2018. The trade turnover made up $171.5 million. Belarus' trade surplus was $121.7 million.
Belarus exports milk and dairy products, tractors and tractor units, furniture, freight vehicles, medications, frozen beef, sugar, meat products to Kazakhstan. Major Belarus' imports are oil products, coal, rail track, rolled steel products, petroleum gases, flax seeds, cotton fibers, onion, garlic.
Belarus' commodity distribution network in Kazakhstan includes over 40 companies with Belarusian capital and more than 170 dealer network facilities. There are eight joint assembly plants for Belarusian machinery and equipment. There are 256 organizations with Belarus' participation in Kazakhstan, and 45 enterprises with Kazakhstani capital in Belarus.More about President