President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev: Mr President, ladies and gentlemen,
I want to once again welcome the President of Russia, all of our Russian friends and the Russian delegation to Pavlodar, where we are holding our annual Forum of our nation’s regions.
We held the IX Interregional Cooperation Forum, which focused on Innovation Cooperation, in one of Kazakhstan’s largest industrial centres, the city of Pavlodar. Choosing this city was no accident: neighbouring states account for up to 70 percent of trade turnover in Pavlodar Region. This region generates 40 percent of our nation’s electric power and produces 100 percent of its metallic aluminium; it also has well-developed chemical and agricultural sectors. The expansion of Ekibastuz GRES-2 power station, which is a joint venture with Russia with an investment volume of one billion dollars, and launching the third power generating unit – all this is very important and necessary for our nation. The electricity generated is used both by Russia and by Kazakhstan.
I am pleased to note that we are gradually developing trade between our nations: in the last year, turnover grew by 30 percent to constitute more than $23 billion, and in the first half of this year it exceeded $11 billion. More than 20 business agreements were signed within the framework of this forum worth a total of approximately $2 billion.
In a separate meeting with President of the Russian Federation Mr Putin, we discussed the upcoming events marking the 20th anniversary of the Treaty between Kazakhstan and Russia on Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance, and the establishment of diplomatic relations between our nations.
During the talks, we addressed cooperation in space exploration, joint use of the Baikonur space launch facility, rational use of water resources, and protecting trans-border rivers. We also looked into problems of industrial and innovative interregional development and efficient cooperation in the fuel and energy sector.
We are consistently strengthening Russia and Kazakhstan’s cooperation within the framework of the Common Economic Space and the Customs Union. Today, we have eliminated many customs barriers that existed between our nations at the boarders, and this is helping us actively develop joint production projects. I feel that this union will be quite attractive to many nations around the world in the future.
I will take this opportunity to congratulate the Russian side on its accession to the World Trade Organisation. We are striving to do the same, and in accordance with our agreements, we will be joining it with Russia’s support.
Several agreements were signed in our presence today aimed at deepening bilateral relations in various sectors of our economies.
In conclusion, I want to once again thank you, Mr President, as well as our Russian friends, for participating in this Forum. I am sure that the agreements reached here will help to develop and further strengthen partner relations between our nations and serve for the good of our peoples and our nations.
The next, tenth Forum will be held in Russia. We agreed with Russia’s suggestion to hold it in Yekaterinburg.
”The Forum’s outcomes deserve the highest assessment. What’s most important is that they are aimed at providing for the basic needs and improving the quality of life for our people, the citizens of our nations.“
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: This year is a special year in Russian-Kazakhstani relations: we are marking the 20th anniversary of the Treaty on Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance, as well as the 20th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations. By historic measurements, this is a fairly short period, but in this time, we have been able to achieve a great deal. We have laid a strong foundation for our relations, which have been progressing to this day – and, I hope, will continue to do so in the future – in the spirit of strategic partnership and cooperation.
We have created and are constantly improving our extensive contractual legal framework, and we are constantly maintaining intensive business and political contacts at all levels.
As you know, the theme of the IX Russia-Kazakhstan Interregional Cooperation Forum is Innovative Cooperation. This is a particularly important area in our joint work. Innovative development and diversification of our economy are strategic directions for the Russian economy (as I’m sure members of the press are aware), but they are no less important for Kazakhstan as well. And if we join forces to resolve certain problems, we can do it more efficiently. That is precisely the goal of creating the Customs Union and the Common Economic Space.
We are really increasing our common competitiveness. I have already told Mr Nazarbayev this, and I can say it again: at the recent APEC summit in Vladivostok, many of our partners from this highly promising and successfully-developing region of the world gave a lot of attention to our Customs Union and Common Economic Space. And in my bilateral meetings, I was almost always asked about how our work is organised. Many of our partners in the Asia-Pacific region expressed a clear desire to create direct contacts and establish special relations with the Common Economic Space and the Customs Union. This is promising work, especially since we plan to continue improving our integration cooperation, up to the point of creating a Eurasian Economic Union.
Today, Mr Nazarbayev and I discussed cooperation in the monetary and financial sector. The President of Kazakhstan raised these issues, meaning that for our national currencies’ fluctuations we need to develop a mechanism that will help us maintain our competitiveness, that will not allow any blunders or losses for our economies and for specific companies engaged in economic activity.
”Many of our partners in the Asia-Pacific region expressed a clear desire to create direct contacts and establish special relations with the Common Economic Space and the Customs Union.“
Incidentally, I can tell you that a deal was made by one of Russia’s largest banks, Sberbank, to sell a 7.58-percent stake for $5,208 billion. This is one of the most profitable deals of the last decade in this area, following Apple. For every $100 invested in Sberbank ten years ago, its major shareholder – the Central Bank of the Russian Federation – got $3,700 today. That’s $3,700 dollars for every $100 invested ten years ago. This is a very good profitability level and it speaks to the potential of Russia’s credit financial institutions, the appeal of those credit financial institutions and the opportunity to broaden our joint work in this direction.
Participants in the Forum came up with a whole range of very interesting and promising ideas, including in the SME sector. And naturally, financial support in this area is very much needed.
During the Forum, we signed a whole package of bilateral agreements. Mr Nazarbayev mentioned this, and you saw it all for yourselves.
The Forum’s outcomes deserve the highest assessment. What’s most important is that they are aimed at providing for the basic needs and improving the quality of life for our people, the citizens of our nations, who reside in near-border regions on both sides.
Mr Nazarbayev and I had our bilateral meeting, which the President of Kazakhstan spoke about. We had the chance to discuss the full range of bilateral relations, the situation in the region and in the world overall. We spoke about the most pressing problems that certain nations are facing today. Many of these things directly affect the interests of both Kazakhstan and the Russian Federation.
In conclusion, I would also like to thank the residents of Pavlodar and, of course, the Kazakhstani leadership and President Nazarbayev for making it possible for us to meet today under such good conditions and have the opportunity to discuss the problems that are of interest to us and whose resolution will determine the quality of life for our citizens. Thank you very much.
Thank you for your attention.