President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Friends, ladies and gentlemen,
As in past years, the atmosphere at this 10th anniversary Russia-Kazakhstan Interregional Cooperation Forum was business-like and constructive. First during the meeting with President of Kazakhstan Mr Nazarbayev, and then at the plenary session, we discussed the most topical matters concerning our multifaceted partnership.
The Interregional Cooperation Forum has been held every year since 2003 and plays a major part in developing bilateral cooperation at the practical level. The Forum has examined issues such as developing regions’ transit transport potential and strengthening ties in the energy sector, sustainable economic development and high technology.
We have had an excellent trade and economic dynamic over the recent years, and this has continued this year. Our bilateral trade grew by 15 percent, reaching $18 billion, over the first nine months of this year. Last year, we had trade worth $22.4 billion for the whole year. This year, judging by preliminary results, the figure will be even higher.
We discussed how to maintain these positive trends and what we can do to further stimulate industrial cooperation. We talked about concrete means for achieving these objectives. Everyone taking part in the Forum, whether members of our governments or heads of the Russian and Kazakhstani regions, all agree that we must make maximum use of the advantages offered by Eurasian integration. The removal of trade barriers through the Customs Union and Common Economic Space is already having a noticeable impact on developing bilateral industrial ties and the economy in general.
The launch of the Eurasian Economic Union in 2015 will open up even greater opportunities for carrying out interregional initiatives. We will establish qualitatively new conditions for developing technology, production and investment alliances between Russia and Kazakhstan. I am sure that deeper integration will lead to the creation of new jobs. Greater competition and a higher quality of goods and services will have a positive impact on our peoples’ lives.
We have just signed agreements that will take us further in this direction and bring us closer to achieving our goals. I particularly note the Agreement on Good-Neighbourliness and Alliance in the 21st Century. It cements the principles for our strategic partnership for the decades to come.
I note too that in parallel with the Forum, the bilateral Business Council on Border-Region Cooperation also met, and an exhibition on industrial cooperation between our regions took place. The first Youth Forum was held with success. It discussed opportunities for expanding our science and technology ties and humanitarian and education contacts.
Summing up, we should highlight that the meeting in Yekaterinburg once again showed the city’s ability to organise international events at the highest level, and I want to thank our colleagues from Yekaterinburg for this.
In conclusion, I want to thank everyone who took part in the Forum for productive work and for achieving today’s results.
Thank you very much for your attention.
President of Kazakhtan Nursultan Nazarbayev: Mr Putin,
I would like to thank you for the invitation to visit Yekaterinburg and for creating excellent conditions for this Forum. We initiated this Forum ten years ago; it has demonstrated its usefulness in these years and become an important element in the cooperation between our nations. I think Russia and Kazakhstan have done the most in the post-Soviet space to maintain relations between people, industries, and our nations’ economies.
We are neighbours. Neighbours are not chosen, they are given to us by God. That is how our forefathers lived, that is how we live, and that is how our descendants will live. It is best to strengthen relations and build the foundation for future cooperation. In this regard, the Forum is a very important stimulus. Mr Putin has talked about this in detail.
The growth in trade between our nations, the increase in communication between our peoples, the creation of joint companies both in Kazakhstan and in Russia, and mutual supplies of goods – all this helps us stay afloat in the global competition.
Entering the World Trade Organisation, we must first build up our competitiveness here, on the inside. That is why we created the Customs Union of Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus. In its two years of work, it has demonstrated its efficacy and we are confidently moving towards the creation of the Eurasian Economic Union – the very highest level of integration in the post-Soviet space. We want to prove its efficacy, equality, and advantageousness for all states.
We have been operating in accordance with the 1992 Agreement on Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance. Now, we have renewed it under new conditions and adopted a new, very important, fundamental agreement for all of our work. The fact that we held the Youth Forum and had an industry exposition helps us gain experience and work together.
I think that the Forum in Yekaterinburg was very successful and will contribute to expanding relations, trade and other forms of cooperation between our economies, people and cultures, ensuring they serve the good of both our neighbourly, friendly and brotherly nations.
Thank you for your attention.