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Opinions & Interviews

7 Jun 2017

Belarus-Kazakhstan trade projected to bounce back soon

Belarus-Kazakhstan trade projected to bounce back soon

ASTANA, 7 June (BelTA) – We expect the Belarus-Kazakhstan trade to be back to the previous volume in the next few years, Belarusian Ambassador to Kazakhstan Anatoly Nichkasov told the media, BelTA has learned.

“We have taken certain measures and may see the trend reverse towards increasing export and trade. Suffice it to say that in the last 4 to 5 months the trade surged by approximately 40-50% and export to Kazakhstan was up 45%,” the Ambassador said.

According to him, the decline in the bilateral trade in the past few years was not due to fewer possibilities of Belarus, as the physical volume of export to Kazakhstan remained the same. “This was connected with other processes. But those additional measures that have been taken, including new production facilities, enabled the two countries to step up the volume. Today I can say with confidence that the program 2017 will be successfully implemented, and most likely, we will see the sustainable growth in the coming years and get back to the positions we once held in this market,” Anatoly Nichkasov noted.

According to the official statistics, Belarus and Kazakhstan had the maximum trade in 2012-2014 when it was approximately $1 billion. Belarusian export accounted for a large part of it. In 2015-2016 the trade shrank considerably.

Anatoly Nichkasov said that new joint production facilities have been set up in Kazakhstan over the past three years. For example, the city of Kokshetau is home to the Belarusian-Kazakhstani agricultural machinery production facility, which will gradually expand. in the special economic zone Astana-New City there is a new plant producing utility vehicles. A facility to manufacture MAZ trucks was launched at a plant in the city of Almaty.

“Astana Motors invited MAZ to co-produce a new vehicle and promote it in the Asian markets. Twenty such vehicles have been already assembled in Almaty. This year will see 100 vehicles more,” the Ambassador noted.

In the autumn of 2016, Astana Motors received a certificate of the MAZ official dealer with the right to sell MAZ vehicles in Almaty and to use the existing dealer network of Minsk Automobile Plant (MAZ trademark). The plan for the further development of cooperation between Astana Motors and MAZ involves several steps, including the setting up of a plant to assemble heavy-duty trucks with the carrying capacity from 15 to 25 tonnes (tractors, trucks, tow trucks, etc.).

In 2017 the goal is to assemble a pilot lot of 100 trucks. In 2018-2020 the output will be increased to 350 trucks annually. All MAZ vehicles that will roll off the Astana Motors production line will meet the Euro-4, Euro-5 and Euro-6 environmental standards.


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