ASTANA. February 23. KAZINFORM In his annual state-of-the-nation address "Socio-Economic Modernization as Main Vector of Development of Kazakhstan" Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev has noted that economic integration with Russia and Belarus is "an important factor in consolidating the overall regional stability and improving the competitiveness of our economies."
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Belarus to Kazakhstan Valery Brylev told about bilateral relations between Kazakhstan and Belarus in an interview with Kazinform.
What is the level of bilateral cooperation between our countries?
Belarus and Kazakhstan are strategic allies. The dynamic development of our relations is based on the traditional and time-tested friendship between the peoples of the two countries, active interstate dialogue at the highest levels.
In recent years we have enjoyed the systematic operation of various mechanisms of intergovernmental and intersectoral cooperation, intensified inter-regional contacts. In May 2011 in Astana the President of Belarus and the President of Kazakhstan signed the Joint Statement, which identified priority areas of cooperation on the comprehensive deepening of trade and economic, scientific, technological, cultural, humanitarian and other links between the two countries, taking into account the quality new opportunities offered by the Single Economic Space.
Clear guidelines for working together in the future allow us to effectively enhance bilateral cooperation, consistently fill it with new content.
What are the most promising areas of trade and economic cooperation between our countries?
When considering the future directions of bilateral trade and economic cooperation it is important to take into account the specifics of the economies of Belarus and Kazakhstan. In this context I would like to note that the choice of Kazakhstan in favor of the construction of industrial and innovation-based economy has greatly expanded the potential for diversification of bilateral trade and economic relations, change in their architecture.
From the direct exchange of goods we consistently move to joint work on development of industrial and scientific-technical cooperation. More than 15 joint ventures have already been established in Kazakhstan on the basis of Belarusian industrial, scientific and technological developments.
It is very promising, complex and mutually beneficial area of cooperation. Amid active investment activity of Belarus in Kazakhstan we would also like to see more Kazakh companies in Belarus. We hope that the stimulus for activation of this process has been the launch since January 1, 2012 of the Single Economic Space and the accelerating privatization process in Belarus.
New economic conditions created within the Single Economic Space open new prospects for cooperation in energy, petrochemistry, transport and logistics, agriculture, communications, pharmaceutics.
In what areas can Kazakhstan and Belarus intensify their partnership?
The areas of cooperation we are going to intensify have been defined together with our Kazakh partners in the Road Map on development of trade-economic cooperation for 2012-2013. This document was adopted at the 8th sitting of Belarus-Kazakhstan intergovernmental trade and economic commission in Gomel in October 2011. While preparing the Road Map we have considered the experience of implementation of the similar document for 2010-2011, the trends in the development of bilateral relations, integration processes in the post-Soviet space. As a result we have a comprehensive and balanced document, which covers virtually all areas of the Belarusian-Kazakh cooperation in various fields - from industrial cooperation to education and culture. Quality implementation of the agreements reached under this document is a priority of our today's work. Of course, in parallel, we continue to actively search for new directions and forms of cooperation.
Does Belarus consider Kazakh business climate favorable? Do Belarusian businessmen or public enterprises have proposals on improving conditions for their work in Kazakhstan?
Formation of favorable business climate in Kazakhstan is a prerogative of the internal politics of your country, so we can only observe Kazakhstan's activity in this area. We do this mainly in order to provide information assistance to Belarusian economic entities interested in working in Kazakhstan. Studying your experience we also consider the opportunity of using it in Belarus since the formation of favorable investment and business climate is one of the priorities of economic policy and our state.
For us positive trends in Kazakhstan's business climate are the increase of the number of Belarusian companies and enterprises in the Kazakh market, the lack of particular problems in their activity.
In one of your speeches you mentioned that a priority for enhancing mutually beneficial cooperation with Kazakhstan Belarus considers the expansion of direct ties between entrepreneurs on the regional and individual levels. Is the existing contractual basis suitable for it?
The practice of joint cooperation on deepening bilateral economic and trade relations shows that the establishment of direct contacts between Belarusian and Kazakh businessmen in many ways facilities effective, result oriented cooperation. We believe that, first of all, it is needed to improve provision of information, create mechanisms that will allow entrepreneurs of our countries to learn more about each other, about the possibilities for cooperation. An essential element of this work is the development of interregional ties, which are the kind of "engine" to enhance trade and economic relations between the two countries as a whole.
Therefore, the creation of conditions for the development of direct contacts between economic entities of Belarus and Kazakhstan, expanding the contractual base of the interregional cooperation is the focus of our constant attention. We have already achieved concrete results. Different regions of Belarus and Kazakhstan have signed over 15 agreements on cooperation; business delegations pay visits at the regional level.
To intensify contacts of small and medium business the chambers of commerce and industry of the two countries established a business council. Belarus-Kazakhstan intergovernmental commission for trade-economic cooperation is another good platform to establish direct contacts between businessmen of the two countries.
Thank you for the interview.
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