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30 May 2016

Program to guide Belarus-Kazakhstan cooperation for ten years

ASTANA, 30 May (BelTA) – Belarus and Kazakhstan will soon put together a program to guide the bilateral trade and economic cooperation for a decade. Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko and Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev reached the relevant agreement during the meeting in Astana on 30 May, BelTA learned from Ambassador of Belarus to Kazakhstan Anatoly Nichkasov.

According to the source, the two leaders summed up the period that characterizes the economy of the Belarus-Kazakhstan relations as “an economy that needs rebooting.” The presidents put forward the idea that a new program document is needed. It will be signed soon. The document will outline new major Belarus-Kazakhstan projects.

The Ambassador of Belarus to Kazakhstan said that proposals of the Belarusian and Kazakh sides will be discussed and the draft relevant program will be reviewed during the session of the intergovernmental commission on trade and economic cooperation in Gomel in June. During the event a draft program on forming Belarus-Kazakhstan economic relations for the next ten years will be discussed. The commission is supposed to give the first reading to the document. The bilateral cooperation program is likely to be signed during the official visit of the Kazakhstan president to Belarus.

The Belarusian and Kazakh sides also worked out draft interstate agreements on peaceful uses of outer space and on further development of telecommunication infrastructure. “It is a matter for new serious platforms for forming Belarus-Kazakhstan economic relations. We expect these agreements to be signed this year in the presence of our presidents. Then we will get down to implementing specific projects,” said Anatoly Nichkasov.

During the meeting in Astana the heads of state discussed not only new projects but also the projects that have traditionally shaped the bilateral economic relations. Those are primarily mechanical engineering projects and projects relating to joint ventures. “They operate well but need new parameters in order to be competitive,” stressed the Ambassador.

“Market competition is on the rise and the presidents said it today. Taking into account that Kazakhstan has joined the WTO and Belarus would like to do the same. New competitors will appear on our market and the fact will necessitate special efforts,” stated the Ambassador of Belarus to Kazakhstan.

Belarus and Kazakhstan are now working hard to implement several new projects. For instance, the production of utility vehicles in Astana’s free economic zone is being started. The enterprise will make household waste disposal vehicles as well as dump trucks.

Another project scheduled for launch in 2016 is the enterprise to assemble a wide choice of agricultural machines based on MTZ and Bobruiskagromash products in Kokshetau.

“We are now talking about Kazakhstan needing to start assembling passenger vehicles. Belarus has a broad range of promising vehicles to offer in that regard and the Kazakh side is interested in setting up manufacturing facilities of its own. Today the Kazakhstan president said it is also necessary to consider exporting to third-country markets as a prospect. This is why the rebooting [of Belarus-Kazakhstan trade and economic cooperation] will most likely focus on setting up brand new joint manufacturing facilities that will compete with foreign companies,” concluded the Ambassador.

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