Russian ruble fall has little effect on Kazakhstan economy: IMF09 november 2014, 15:32
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) believes that the sliding Russian ruble doesn't have any substantial effect on Kazakhstan's economy. According to the Head of the IMF mission in the Middle East and Central Asia Yuha Kahonen, Kazakhstan is not strongly influenced by the changes in the currency rate of the Russian ruble, Tengrinews reports.
The ruble has been falling against the US dollar since the beginning of October.
Russia is Kazakhstan's northern neighbour. They share a huge common border of 6,846 kilometres. Russia is Kazakhstan's number one trade partner with their mutual trade worth $23.5 billion last year. Trade with Russia is responsible for 36% of Kazakhstan's overall trade turnover.
Kazakhstan's “export and import from Russia is substantial, but is not as substantial as in case with other Central Asian countries. Kazakhstan exports goods to other regions as well and in a sense, it compensates for the trading difficulties with Russia,” Kahonen said. Although the situation with the Russia currency does have an effect on the economic growth of Kazakhstan, “the growth prospects of the Kazakhstani economy are lower in 2014 and 2015,” Kahonen added.
In response to the IMF report, the director of the International and Public Relations Department of Kazakhstan’s National Bank Aidar Kazybayev said that the situation in Russia mostly affected countries importing oil, such as Armenia, Georgia and Tajikistan. Whereas oil exporting countries like Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan felt less impact.
“Kazakhstan's position is very clear: we are not tied to the Russian currency. We are only tied through postintegration relations. Financial and economic situation in Russia, as IMF experts noted, does not significantly affect Kazakhstan’s economy,” Kazybayev said.
According to Kazybayev, the trade turnover between the two countries is stable and the trade balance is improving. In the end of Summer, Kazakhstan’s export of food and manufacturing goods to Russia increased. “I think that with the economic situation stabilizing, trade turnover with Russia will grow,” the National Bank representative said.
Earlier, Raimbek Batalov, representative of the Board of Directors of Raimbek Group said that the continuing ruble crisis had an adverse effect on Kazakhstani exports to Russia.
Reporting by Azhar Asshirova. Writing by Gyuzel Kamalova