Issues on the Forum’s agenda include the development of the transport and logistics potential of Eurasia, further efforts to lift trade barriers between Russia and Kazakhstan, and cooperation in tourism.
The Forum was attended by the heads of the key ministries and agencies and regional heads of Russia and Kazakhstan.
After the 13th Russia-Kazakhstan Interregional Cooperation Forum, the parties signed a Joint Action Plan for 2016–2018, an intergovernmental agreement on the preservation of the Ural River ecosystem, a protocol amending the intergovernmental agreement on the legal regulation of railway companies, establishments and organisations dated October 18, 1996, and a memorandum of understanding and expansion of strategic cooperation in nuclear fuel cycle between the Russian State Corporation Rosatom, the Energy Ministry of Kazakhstan and the National Atomic Company Kazatomprom.
* * *
Speech at the 13th Russia-Kazakhstan Interregional Cooperation Forum
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Nazarbayev, colleagues,
The development of our multifaceted trade and investment relations with the Republic of Kazakhstan is one of Russia’s priorities.
Our countries’ economies are closely interconnected. We are working jointly to implement large projects in industry, energy and agriculture and to strengthen technological cooperation and our common transport infrastructure.
The constituent entities of the Russian Federation and the akimats (regions) of the Republic of Kazakhstan are playing an active role in promoting bilateral cooperation.
A large Russian delegation has come to the forum in Astana, as Mr Nazarbayev noted and as I mentioned at the beginning of our meetings today. It has over 400 members, including the heads of federal agencies and 12 regions, business people, researchers and experts.
We have had numerous contacts and talks with our Kazakh partners, after which we have signed or will sign important bilateral agreements and commercial contracts. Their implementation will make cooperation between our regions even more practical.
We have supported Mr Nazarbayev’s initiative and have held a forum of business leaders from our countries as part of the 13th Russia-Kazakhstan Interregional Cooperation Forum today. I believe we share the opinion that we should continue combining regional and business forums in future.
We consider it important that this forum is devoted to an urgent issue – the development of the transport services market. Russia and Kazakhstan are at the crossroads of a major trade route between Europe and Asia. We have a common customs border, well developed railway and road systems, and we can ensure high security transport.
However, we are not using this large system to its potential. To make the most of it, we need to work together on our transport infrastructure and coordinate the rules for transport and logistics services.
Naturally, such ambitious objectives require huge resources; but the investment is bound to pay off. The construction of high volume transport corridors will provide conditions for rapid economic growth, create new development potential for the regions, enhance investment appeal, intensify inter-regional cooperation and create new jobs.
I would like to note that Russia and Kazakhstan have already successfully joined quite a few international transport and corridor projects, for example, the new road between Europe and western China. This road will reduce the freight shipping times between China and Europe to ten days.
The establishment of a united transport and logistics company with Russian Railways, and Kazakh and Belarusian railways will increase the volume of container traffic through the Eurasian Economic Union. This traffic has already increased and will continue to grow, as we were told today. In addition, the reconstruction of the ports in Makhachkala, Aktau and Atyrau will help increase the capacity of transport via the Caspian Sea.
Our countries are also expanding personnel training cooperation in transport and logistics services. Almost 2,500 Kazakh students underwent training in Russia’s related institutions. Over a thousand were trained at Russia’s expense.
We have just received information – at any rate, this is the first time I have seen it – on preparations for Astana EXPO-2017. We have seen the enormous amount of work the Kazakh organisers have accomplished. I would like to assure you, Mr Nazarbayev, that Russia will take a most active part in these large events, in this major international exhibition, and is ready to co-organise over 100 events in the programme.
Thank you very much for your attention.