Kazakh-Armenian trade to be boosted by Iranian railway

December 13. Central Asia Newswire

Kazakh-Armenian trade to be boosted by Iranian railwayThe completion of a proposed Armenian railroad to Iran will significantly increase Kazakh-Armenian trade through Turkmenistan, a bilateral business forum was told on Friday.

Kazakhstan’s Ambassador to Armenia Aimdos Bozzhigitov made the statement to a meeting of some 70 business people in Armenia’s capital city Yerevan.

“If Armenia has a railroad with Iran, while Kazakhstan has a transport corridor to Iran via Turkmenistan to be completed in 2011, we will have a direct railway communication, which will allow increasing the trade turnover,” the Armenian-based Panarmenian.net news agency cited Bozzhigitov as telling the Yerevan business forum Friday.

Current two-way trade amounted to just $9.6 million in the first 10 months of 2010 due in part to the lack of a direct transportation route between Kazakhstan and the Caucasus republic.

“In the first place, we shall discuss Kazakhstan’s government program designed to stimulate industrial and innovation progress and investments, including the issue of attraction of Armenian investments. We know that Armenia has a strong scientific and technical basis,” the ambassador said, adding that bilateral trade may develop in the oil and gas sectors, metallurgy, energy and agriculture.

Despite the limited trade total between them, commerce between Kazakhstan and Armenia has been growing.

The government data indicated that Kazakhstan’s January-October 2010 exports to Yerevan reached $7.1 million, a growth of 3.3 times over the same period in 2009.

Its imports of Armenian goods and services totaled $2.5 million, which represents a 27.4 percent growth over the first 10 months of 2009.