Customs union trade grew more than twofold

July 26. Central Asia Newswire

Customs union trade grew more than twofoldKazakhstan’s trade with its fellow customs union partners grew by more than twofold in the first five months of 2011, a top Kazakh minister said Tuesday.

“Results of the customs union within [the first] five months of this year show that exports of our products to Russia grew by 59.6 percent, in Belarus – 2.3 times. Imports from Russia increased by 2.6 times, from Belarus – 6 percent,” said Kairat Kelimbetov, minister for economic development and trade.

“Trade with the customs union has increased by 2.1 times, to $9.4 billion, up 19.6 percent of total turnover in Kazakhstan,” the Kazakhstan Today (KT) news agency reported Kelimbetov as saying.

The trilateral alliance of post-Soviet republics Kazakhstan, Russia and Belarus have been operational since July 2010 when the Customs Code took effect to establish a common economic space.

In July 2011, the grouping dismantled customs controls and transferred all customs procedures to their external borders, Kelimbetov noted, creating a market of 168 million.

The move is expected to lead to a growth of their consolidated economy.

The union will move a step closer to full integration in next January by establishing a common economic space that will permit a free movement of goods, services, capital and labor.