MINSK, 25 March (BelTA) – Belarus and Kazakhstan have done a lot for the development of relations in recent years. The visit of Kazakhstan President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev to Belarus can give a boost for bilateral cooperation, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he met with Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Kazakhstan to Belarus Askar Beisenbayev on 25 March, BelTA informs.
“We have achieved a lot in recent years in terms of integration, especially within the framework of the EAEU, and in terms of bilateral relations, trade and cooperation,” the head of state stressed. “Of course, we would like to advance this cooperation even further and to expand trade volumes. We are ready to ramp up production, set up assembly facilities and operate those we have at full capacity. To cut it short, the government has to do a lot.”
“It would be great to have the visit of the Kazakhstan president to Belarus which was postpones because of the pandemic. It would give a big impetus for the development of relations,” Aleksandr Lukashenko added.
Addressing the ambassador, the president expressed hope that Askar Beisenbayev will play a big role in the development of bilateral cooperation. “I hope that you will be doing your best for Belarus-Kazakhstan cooperation for many years to come,” the head of state continued. “I hope that we will do a lot for the benefit of our nations.”
For his part, Askar Beisenbayev conveyed the best wishes from first President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev and President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev to Aleksandr Lukashenko. “Kazakhstan and Belarus are friendly countries supporting each other at any arena, including the international arena. I would like to express exceptional gratitude to you. 2020 was not an easy year, the year of fight against the pandemic when all countries isolated themselves, and we saw huge support from Belarus,” the ambassador said. He thanked the Belarusian air carrier Belavia for keeping air transportation in the early stage of the pandemic. That helped many Kazakhstani people return to their native country.
Kazakhstan is one of Belarus' top trade partners. In 2020, the trade turnover of Belarus and Kazakhstan made up $847.9 million (92.2% of the 2019 level). Belarus' export reached $747.1 million (97.6%), import - $100.8 million (65.1%). Belarus' major exports to Kazakhstan were tractors, meat and dairy products, sugar, harvesters, furniture, medications. Belarus imported coal, oil products, cotton fibers, rails, unprocessed zinc, ferrous-bases alloys, metal products from Kazakhstan.
The commodity distribution network of Belarusian enterprises in Kazakhstan includes over 40 operators with the Belarusian capital and more than 170 operators of the dealership network. There are seven joint assembly facilities for Belarusian vehicles and equipment in Kazakhstan, including MTZ, MAZ, Gomselmash and Bobruiskagromash.
The sides are currently working on an intergovernmental plan of action to develop the trade and economic cooperation in 2021-2022.