Kazakh-Kyrgyz boarders opened with Kyrgyzstan's accession to EEU14 августа 2015, 18:26
Kyrgyzstan has become a member of the Eurasian Economic Union, Tengrinews reports citing RT TV channel. The President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev and Almazbek Atambayev, President of Kyrgyzstan, opened the customs border between the two countries during an official ceremony on August 12.
190 loaded heavyweight transporters crossed the border on the first day of the open border regime (August 13) - 120 to Kazakhstan and 70 from Kazakhstan to Kyrgyzstan. This is twice the daily average before the opening of the borders.
Border control is still in place only the customs control has been simplified, according to the Ministry of Economy of Kyrgyzstan. Heavyweight freight trucks carrying commercial cargoes have to get a special state control certificate and those carrying food products also need to pass phytosanitary and veterinary control.
"On August 12, the Agreement on the accession of the Kyrgyz Republic to the Eurasian Economic Union came into force. Kyrgyzstan has become a full-fledged member of the EEU," the Eurasian Economic Committee (EEC) said.
"Membership in the EEU opens new prospects for Kyrgyzstan. Barriers on the way of products, services, capital and labor movement are removed. The membership opens new investment opportunities and facilitates implementation of large infrastructure project, in particular, in energy, transportation and agriculture. Kyrgyz citizens will have a legal right to work in any member state on the same terms as the citizens of the given member state," the EEC said.
The Eurasian Economic Union is an economic union of Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Armenia and Kyrgyzstan. It has an integrated single market of 183 million people and a gross domestic product of over 4 trillion dollars (PPP). The union introduces the free movement of goods, capital, services and people and provides for common transport, agriculture and energy policies.
The official ceremony of the Kazakh-Kyrgyz customs border opening was broadcast live. The presidents were joined by Prime Minister of Kyrgyzstan Temir Sariev and Vice Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Bakytzhan Sagintayev.
Nursultan Nazarbayev and Almazbek Atambayev. All photos courtesy of Kyrgyz President's press office
President Nazarbayev spoke of the importance of the Kyrgyzstan's accession to the EEU.
"Accession of Kyrgyzstan to the EEU is an important event. Opening of the custom borders will liven up businesses in both countries. We will see positive results. It is the time of crisis now that affects trade negatively. We could not have predicted these difficulties. But in the future, the Union will enhance the wellbeing of our nations,"Nazarbayev said.
Nazarbayev sees significant potential for increased mutual trade between the countries. In particular, the President noted the importance of cooperation in energy, transportation, communication, agriculture and tourism.
The President of Kazakhstan wished Kyrgyzstan stability and peaceful development. He praised President Atambayev’s work in Kyrgyzstan stressing the stable development of the country.
In turn, the President of Kyrgyzstan thanked Nazarbayev for his participation. Atambayev expressed confidence that the diplomatic relations between the countries would be strengthening thanks to the EEU, adding that brotherly nations were not supposed to have any borders separating them.
“Today is an important day for citizens of Issyk-kul oblast. Nursultan Nazarbayev supported the idea of construction of a short road from Almaty (to Issyk-kul). This will decrease the distance by half,” Atambayev said.
With the accession the common customs tariff and single product code listing will be used in Kyrgyzstan along with standards of safety of goods. These requirements were set by the Technical Regulations of the Customs Union.
Meanwhile, economists predict an inflow of cheap Kyrgyz goods that would hit Kazakhstani dealers hard. This will mostly affect small private entrepreneurs. In turn, Kazakhstani companies with a production potential that can satisfy the demand of both Kazakh and Kyrgyz markets will definitely see some benefits in the Kyrgyz membership in the EEU.
"Goods will no longer be checked during transportation from Kazakhstan to Kyrgyzstan or back. (…) There is an opportunity for legal commodity circulation. Certainly, export from Kyrgyzstan to Kazakhstan will increase," Gennady Shestakov of the Customs Broker Association told Almaty TV channel.
"If we are talking about economy, then for Kazakhstan it will be a time of cheap goods and labor. At the same time, it adds a new market. Our producers can access new markets via Kyrgyzstan," Saltanat Abayeva from a Kazakhstani consulting company said.
As for car sales, Kazakhstan has made sure that only cars brought to Kyrgyzstan after January 1, 2014 will gain free access to the Kazakh car market. Other cars will face customs without any tariff relieves.
Writing by Gyuzel Kamalova, editing by Tatyana Kuzmina