President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev: Mr President,
I cordially welcome you to yet another region of Northern Kazakhstan.
Yesterday we held a meeting of the supreme CSTO council in Astana. We met all our goals and adopted the corresponding decisions there.
Today we are having our annual interregional meeting between the regions of Russia and the regions of Kazakhstan. We meet to sum up last year's work.
I must note that, with mutual trade about to reach $18 billion this year, the regions account for 70 percent of the total goods turnover.
In addition, we also chose another topic for our agenda – tourism, a theme that has not been explored yet. Elsewhere in the world, tourism accounts for 10 percent of GDP, but in our countries the figure stands at only 1 percent.
Russia is a big country; Kazakhstan is also big. It will greatly benefit both our countries to communicate, to suggest places to go to, to visit for tourists, and it will contribute to a revival of our interstate trade.
So thank you for coming here. Today we will hold a forum. It will serve to improve the rapprochement and better mutual understanding of our peoples and an expansion of trade and economic relations.
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Thank you very much, Mr President.
Indeed, this topic is very interesting in the context of the growing trade, because this is an additional niche.
On the whole, our situation is developing positively, and trade is growing. Kazakhstan is Russia’s second largest trade and economic partner in the CIS after Belarus.
Our mutual trade is growing fast, according to our experts, so Kazakhstan has every chance to win first place.
Moreover, our economic relations are very diverse: they embrace high technologies, including space, hydrocarbons and transport. Now we are going to add tourism, which indeed has significant potential for Kazakhstan and Russia.
I would say we should make this palette more interesting, more meaningful. For our part, we will make every effort to make this area of our cooperation come alive as it should.