Integration action plan

Belarus and Kazakhstan could raise bilateral turnover considerably over coming years
By Mikhail Veniaminov

On meeting Kazakhstan’s Prime Minister, Serik Akhmetov, the President of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, has proposed expanding Belarus’ participation in the industrialisation of the Kazakh economy.

“Belarus has established a very promising organisation with Kazakhstan and Russia, which I hope will help our nations’ citizens. I absolutely agree with Nursultan Nazarbayev that our organisation shouldn’t be politicised,” notes Mr. Lukashenko. “We aren’t in a hurry, so we can solve current problems calmly, enabling us to move on in mastering new processes and solving new problems.”

The Belarusian President notes that the SES is already seeing results, including increased bilateral collaboration. In 2012, trade turnover between Belarus and Kazakhstan totalled around $1bn. “Once, we only dreamt of such figures; now, they’re a reality,” the Head of State emphasises. “I believe that Belarusians need to work more actively to help industrialise the Kazakh economy, since it’s beneficial for us.”

According to Mr. Lukashenko, Kazakhstan is also keen on such co-operation, having always promoted it. He also stresses that Belarusian goods are good value for money. “If you need something, we can deliver it. Kazakhstan isn’t a stranger to us; rather, it’s a rich and promising country with a great future. Interaction with Kazakhstan benefits our state and our people,” continues the Belarusian leader.

Mr. Lukashenko notes that Belarus is searching for new sales markets for its produce far beyond its borders but sometimes forgets that it does have closer markets. He emphasises also that the economies of Belarus and Kazakhstan are complementary.

On May 29th, Kazakhstan is to host a top level meeting within the SES framework, discussing the intensive development of integration processes. Serik Akhmetov agrees that foundations need to be laid, allowing us to move forward steadily and consistently.

Mr. Akhmetov believes that existing bilateral trade of $1bn could be raised further, saying, “We have huge potential and should at least double trade over the next few years.” He adds that processed and agricultural goods dominate. “We need to set up joint ventures in most branches of the economy, then export widely,” underlines Mr. Akhmetov.
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