President meets with Kazakh counterpart

Oct 07. B92. ASTANA

President meets with Kazakh counterpartPresidents of Serbia and Kazakhstan Boris Tadic and Nursultan Nazarbayev met today in Astana, Kazakhstan.

According to reports, they evaluated that the two countries might promote their economic cooperation considerably in the next several years on the basis of traditional friendship and the bilateral agreements signed today.

Tadic told a news conference in Astana that he is impressed with Kazakhstan’s economic achievements in the past 20 years, evaluating that Serbia might become the country’s strategic partner.

“I am confident that Kazakhstan will get transformed into a country of major economic prosperity, turning into an exceptional economic factor,” said Tadic after his meeting with President Nazarbayev, adding that Serbia is ready to take part in Kazakhstan’s development, together with the country’s companies, and to accept investments from Kazakhstan.

According to Tadic, the fact that Serbia and Kazakhstan do not share a single outstanding issue in their bilateral relations and that the government in Astana consistently supports Belgrade’s policy on the issue of Kosovo and Metohija will certainly have an impact on the economic cooperation between the two countries.

Recalling that the two countries are also linked with similarly conceived long-term plans for economic development, President Tadic singled out construction services, agriculture, machine building and energy supply as potentially fruitful areas of economic cooperation.

President Nazarbayev concluded that the present volume of trade worth USD 20mn is practically nothing, and that there are almost unlimited possibilities to expand the economic cooperation.

“We believe that we may start from building pharmaceutical factories in Kazakhstan, since we import medicines worth between USD 700-800mn every year,” said Nazarbayev.

“It is likely that the cooperation in the area of agriculture will also be intensified in the near future and that processing of Kazakhstan’s oil in Serbia’s refineries is possible,” said Nazarbayev, underscoring that Kazakhstan will protect operations of Serbia’s companies.

The two presidents signed in Astana today four important interstate agreements: a Protocol on Cooperation between the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Agreement on Abolition of the Visa Regime, Free Trade Agreement and Investment Protection Agreement.

President of the Serbian Chamber of Commerce Milos Bugarin and his Kazakhstan counterpart today signed an Agreement on Cooperation between the Chambers of Commerce.

Serbia’s delegation visiting Kazakhstan also includes Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic and Minister of Trade and Services Slobodan Milosavljevic.