''The key goal is to promote KAMAZ trucks to the Kazakhstan market''
20th session of the Intergovernmental Commission on Cooperation between Russia and Kazakhstan ended in Kazan
The signing of documents of the Intergovernmental Commission on Cooperation between the Russian Federation and Kazakhstan in the Kazan City Hall was accompanied by an impressive roar of Swifts rehearsing a campaign of the Ministry of Defence. Realnoe Vremya observed the intergovernmental dialogue after the closing ceremony.
From investments in dollars to de-dollarised settlement among priorities
Finance Minister of the Russian Federation Anton Siluanov opened the jubilee session of the Intergovernmental Commission on Cooperation between the Russian Federation and Kazakhstan with words of gratitude to Rustam Minnikhanov for ''the opportunity to meet up'' and got down to business:
''Kazakhstan is one of the major commercial partners for Russia. The volume of mutual trade grows in both dollars and physical terms. And the growth in commodity turnover increased by more than 25% from the beginning of the year to July. It's very positive!''
According to Siluanov, the volume of export from Russia to Kazakhstan grew by 9% and almost by 10% from Kazakhstan to Russia during this time. The volume of direct Russian investments totalled over $12bn in Kazakhstan since 2005, the investments from Kazakhstan to Russia were more than $4bn. Over 50 big investment projects with Russian capital are fulfilled in Kazakhstan – in machine engineering, agricultural and railway machine engineering, the chemical sector.
''Russia is interested in supplies of civil aviation machinery in Kazakhstan, it's ready to supply railway machinery and a series of other products,'' Siluanov noted and mentioned the topic of de-dollarisation of the economy. ''We worry about the integration in different ways, we have a good relationship in the Eurasian Union, but we're moving towards developing settlement in national currencies and welcome the initiative of the Republic of Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbayev to develop the roadmap to switch to the development of national currencies and are ready to move in this direction.''
''The Russian Federation is one of the major trade partners of Kazakhstan,'' First Vice-Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Askar Mamin confirmed in his return speech. ''Russia accounts for over 20% of all external turnover of Kazakhstan, and we see high dynamics of development of trade relations. And I think we will reach $20bn of turnover in the short run. It's a real task. The potential of bilateral economic relations is huge…''
Mamin replenished the list of projects Kazakhstan is ready to develop with Russia: pharmaceutics, agriculture, peaceful use of the atom, transit trade flow, which goes to Russia via Kazakhstan. He said ''five important documents and over 10 different agreements at the regional level'' were prepared by this meeting.
Tatarstan billion delivered by KAMAZ trucks
Rustam Minnikhanov thanked for the honour given when choosing the location of the session of the Intergovernmental Commission and ensured its participants in the readiness of Tatarstan to make a contribution to get the two countries closer:
The Tatarstan president pointed out priorities areas of cooperation of the republic with Kazakhstani partners in his welcome speech: economy, tourism, education. Later he revealed them to journalists and emphasised one of the key goals was to promote KAMAZ trucks to the Kazakhstani market:
''Tatarstan also makes a good contribution to Russian-Kazakhstani relations. The task we were given – to reach the US $1bn of commodity turnover [with Kazakhstan] – is about to be accomplished, I think we will succeed. We have a big number of areas, we actively work at the interregional level…''
''The Kazakhstani market is second after Russia, we seriously work with it. Our petrochemical complex is the next area, of course. It's not only supply of products to Kazakhstan, but closer integration must also be considered! Kazakhstan has huge feedstock reserves that are very interesting for such factories. We need to promote our tyres, compressors, gas pumping plants… We're very close to starting cooperating in shipbuilding. And we think not only our big companies must be represented in this sphere…''
From commodity turnover to joint export
Deputy Minister of Economic Development of Russia (previous director of VEB) Sergey Gorkov reported on plans for economic cooperation with Tatarstan. He said the turnover between Kazakhstan and Russia had already exceeded $17bn in 2018.
''We expect commodity turnover to grow by 9-9,5 and maybe even 10% this year,'' Gorkov specified. ''It's expected it can reach over $18,5bn, while 20 billion is quite a real number to reach in the next several years… What's more, oil and gas account for the least share in commodity turnover. I'd say it's mainly good natural turnover, first of all, equipment for the manufacturing industry, machinery for chemical and petrochemical enterprises, metallurgy. A working group met here, in Tatarstan, yesterday. And additional investment projects including with such enterprises as KAMAZ appeared.''
Gorkov implied the cooperation could expand in mining and metallurgy, car making, agricultural machinery engineering, the chemical and petrochemical industry and transport. Most importantly, he stressed ''we need to learn how to created added value together through industrial cooperation to export to third countries, other markets such as China, India, Pakistan – to Southeast Asia.''
About money and transport flows
Gorkov also said 63% of settlement between Russia and Kazakhstan is made in national currencies. However, the target is 70-75%. Later Anton Siluanov confirmed this to the journalists and told the deadline: ''In the next one or two years''.
''Gross domestic inflow of investments from Russia to Kazakhstan has totalled over the US $13,5bn in investments in 13 years,'' First Vice-Minister of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation Roman Sklyar stated. ''The Russian government especially controls 24 investment projects at $3bn in such spheres as machine engineering, IT…''
Speaking about promising cooperation areas, Sklyar pointed out, first of all, pharmaceutics and machine engineering and mentioned KAMAZ again.
Deputy Transport Minister of Russia Sergey Aristov told about a ''very interesting project in railway machinery, which is developing now on the initiative of the Kazakhstani side. It's cargo and passenger traffic between Europe and China through Kazakhstan, Russia and Belarus.'' Roman Sklyar complemented his speech with a message about the necessity to support the construction of a modern transport corridor to China via Russia and Kazakhstan at the government level and noted that ''a system of parallel state flows need to be created in the next six years.'' Then Rustam Minnikhanov jointed the discussion who reminded that Tatarstan was very interested in this project. This task seems to be very important in the light of the already reached an agreement on the construction project of the biggest Volga logistic centre in Tatarstan.