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Minister of Economic Development Kairat Kelimbetov on benefits of integration

26 september 2011, 09:30
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Kairat Kelimbetov. By Yaroslav Radlovsky ©
Kairat Kelimbetov. By Yaroslav Radlovsky ©
Today we are in an economic turbulence zone (…) It’s time to “fasten seatbelts” and get prepared for a tougher time. According to experts, the world might face a new wave of crisis or a lingering recession (…) In this case Kazakhstan’s exports will be declining as the world will be consuming less oil, gas and uranium (…), Novosti Kazakhstan quoted Minister of Economic Development Kairat Kelimbetov as saying in an interview.

Now, 20 years after gaining independence it’s getting clear that relations with neighboring states are the most predictable. The Kazakh-Russian frontier makes up 7 000 km, which is the longest on-land border in the world. In this context, it is reasonable to build relations with Russia on confidence, which is at the level of strategic cooperation (…)

If we analyze trade relations among post-Soviet states, trade turnover of Kazakhstan with Russia and Belarus has grown twofold in 2010-2011. It means that Kazakhstan-based businesses look towards neighboring states in the first place, rather than towards far abroad countries. Relations between the Customs Union of Kazakhstan, Russia and Belarus offer huge opportunities within the following 5-20 years.

Firstly, shadow operations at the border will be reduced. Secondly, the market [for Kazakhstan-based producers] has grown from 16 million to 168 million people. Russia enjoys 20% growth of the market for its goods. Besides, Russian producers now can plan supplies to the rest of Central Asia and China (…).

The Common Economic Space calls for a concerted economic policy. For instance, budget deficit should be within a set range. If Belarus doesn’t develop a clear plan of overcoming the crisis, there will be no concerted policies (…).

Every new state willing to join the Customs Union should clear the “face control”. We need to make sure a would-be member meets the requirements of the Customs Union in terms of macroeconomic policies and customs tariffs. The Common Economic Space calls for greater responsibility of its members.

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