President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, who arrived in Omsk to participate in the XVI Forum of Interregional Cooperation, held a meeting with President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin.
The Heads of state discussed prospects for the development of bilateral relations and key issues of cooperation at the regional level.
Kassym-Jomart Tokayev expressed gratitude for the hospitality, noting the effectiveness and fruitfulness of the forum.
“In 2003, thanks to the efforts of our First President Nursultan Nazarbayev and your efforts the first meeting at the interregional level was held here. This mechanism was launched at full capacity and proved to be an effective tool for cooperation between the regions. It is extremely important and very significant that the volume of trade between the regions of our countries is growing. We have achieved great success in industrial and agriculture cooperation, therefore, I believe, a very big groundwork has been made," the Head of State said.
Vladimir Putin noted the importance of the traditional forum that links the regions of Russia and Kazakhstan.
“Relations between our countries are developing successfully. Last year, turnover growth was over 14%, investments continue to grow. We meet regularly, however, there are always topics that require our special attention,” the Russian President said.
The two presidents have signed eight documents at the 16th Interregional Cooperation Forum.
The Forum, dedicated to the pressing issues of developing cross-border cooperation, has been attended by the leaders of regions and oblasts, representatives of specialized government bodies and business circles of the two countries.
Addressing the participants, the Kazakh President noted that the Forum has become a good tradition and a full-fledged mechanism for interaction between the States, which is evidenced by the results of cooperation over the past years.
“The trade and investment cooperation has expanded significantly. Between 2003 and 2018, the mutual trade increased 3.5 times. In 2018, the trade turnover exceeded 6.5 trillion tenge or almost $19 B,” the Kazakh President said.
Kassym-Jomart Tokayev welcomed the growing bilateral cooperation in the field of energy, oil and gas.
“Since the establishment of the Caspian Pipeline Consortium, more than 500 million tons of oil have been delivered to the world market via the Tengiz-Novorossiysk pipeline. These are significant indicators. The consortium is also effective in terms of synergy obtained from combining the efforts of our countries and attracting high-quality foreign investors. Our enterprises are working together on Kazakhstan’s Tengiz, Korolevskoye and Karachaganak deposits, as well as on the Khvalynskoye, Tsentralnoye and Kurmangazy cross-border field,” the President said.
He went on to state the results of cooperation within the Eurasian Economic Union. According to him, the active use of the opportunities of the EAEU by the regions contributed to the growth of trade, the expansion of the range of goods supplied and the increase in investment.
Kassym-Jomart Tokayev believes that Kazakh-Russian cooperation can become a key tool in ensuring sustainable economic growth and improving the welfare of the population.
“In our countries there are a large number of special development institutions created to attract investment and promote exports. These institutions could prepare and implement a joint program to study the markets of border regions in order to inform businesses about promising markets for mutual deliveries of goods, investment opportunities,” the Kazakh Head of State said.
He proposed to develop and adopt a cross-border cooperationpProgramme, which will provide an opportunity to strengthen the infrastructure potential of the border regions.
“It is necessary to expand and develop the infrastructure potential of the border regions. The existing infrastructure no longer meets modern requirements. Therefore, there is a lot of work to do. Border crossings need to be modernized taking into account the transnational corridors being formed, including under the megaprojects “One Belt - One Road” and “North - South”. Today there is a need to expand and open a number of additional checkpoints,” Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said.
In his speech, he emphasized the important role of the Joint Action Programme in the field of industrial cooperation between the two countries. The President called on line ministries, regions, and export development and support institutions to actively cooperate to jointly entry into the markets of third countries. He also considers useful the close cooperation of the supervisory bodies of the two countries
“It's no secret that agriculture is one of the most sensitive sectors of any economy. The special attention of supervisory bodies to this area is understandable and justified. But it should not be redundant. Therefore, to prevent administrative barriers and ensure promptness in resolving emerging issues, a full-fledged, everyday contact between the relevant ministries and departments is necessary,” the Head of State said.
Kassym-Jomart Tokayev proposed to develop a programme for cooperation in the field of sports, and also supported the initiative to open the Bauman Moscow State Technical University’s physics and mathematics school in the capital of Kazakhstan. In his opinion, a branch of Nazarbayev Intellectual School can be opened in one of the border regions of Russia.
While concluding his speech, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, taking into account the priority of solving environmental problems, proposed to devote the next Interregional Cooperation Forum to the topic “Cooperation in the field of ecology and green growth” and hold it in the city of Kokshetau in 2020.
The Forum saw the signing of the documents as follows:
- The concept of the Kazakhstan-Russia Cross-Border Cooperation Programme;
- The programme of cooperation between the Ministry of Culture and Sports of Kazakhstan and the Ministry of Culture of Russia for 2020-2022;
- The Joint Action Programme between the Ministry of Industry and Infrastructure Development of Kazakhstan and the Ministry of Transport of Russia on the checkpoints on the Kazakh-Russian border;
- The Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Information and Social Development of Kazakhstan and the Federal Agency for Youth Affairs of the Russia in the field of youth policy;
- The Agreement between the Governor’s Office of Kostanay region and the Government of Chelyabinsk oblast on trade and economic, scientific, technical, social, cultural and humanitarian cooperation;
- The Agreement between the Governor’s Office of Pavlodar region and the Government of Kurgan oblast on cooperation in trade, economic, scientific, technical, humanitarian and other fields;
- The Action Plan for 2019-21 on the Agreement between the Governor’s Office of Pavlodar region and the administration of Novosibirsk oblast on trade, economic, social, scientific, technical and cultural cooperation;
- The Agreement on cooperation between the Entrepreneurship Development Foundation Damu and the Russian Bank for Small and Medium Enterprises Support.
Reported by Strategy 2050.