Kazakhstan, Ukraine Cooperation Set to Expand

Nov 25. MFA

Kazakhstan, Ukraine Cooperation Set to ExpandKazakhstan and Ukraine are set to intensify trade and economic cooperation through joint industrial and innovative projects, Kazakhstan’s Prime Minister Karim Massimov said on November 24 following a meeting with his Ukrainian counterpart Nikolai Azarov who arrived in Kazakhstan on a two-day official visit.

During his stay in Astana, Azarov also met President Nursultan Nazarbayev. They discussed a wide range of bilateral issues, and particularly, aspects of cooperation in investment, trade and financial spheres. The parties noted with satisfaction the 70-percent rise in trade turnover in the first 10 months 2011 to US$ 2.5 billion which made Kazakhstan Ukraine’s second largest trading partner after Russia in the CIS.

During the talks, Massimov and Azarov noted the need to strengthen economic cooperation between the two countries by developing joint industrialization projects both in Kazakhstan and Ukraine. They also touched upon the issues of the Customs Union and the Single Economic Space, the use of transit potential of the two countries, as well as cooperation in the nuclear power industry and space.

“The relations that exist between our countries allow us to speak honestly and openly as well as to find solutions to all issues to ensure the development of the two countries and improvement in our peoples’ living standards,” Massimov noted.

Nikolai Azarov, in his turn, congratulated Kazakhstan on the achievements in the country’s social and economic development. He said today the global economy is undergoing what might be the toughest times in the history which requires a well-considered policy. In this regard, he noted that Kazakhstan-Ukrainian cooperation could help minimise the risks the economies are facing today.

He also proposed to revive the idea of establishing a trilateral Black Sea Coast grain pool between Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Russia, as they account for 20% of the world’s grain exports. The head of the Ukrainian government is convinced that by creating such a pool the exporting countries could influence the price policy on the grain markets.

The prime ministers expressed their satisfaction with the results of negotiations at a news briefing. They also mentioned that the agreements reached would lay the foundation for elaborating an action plan for 2012-2013 or a road map to be discussed at a regular meeting of the intergovernmental commission in Astana this December.

As part of the talks ministers of internal affairs Kalmukhanbet Kasymov of Kazakhstan and Vitaliy Zakharchenko of Ukraine signed an agreement on cooperation between the two ministries in the fight against extremism and other crimes.

Later that day, the prime ministers attended the Kazakhstan-Ukrainian business forum that gathered representatives of the business communities of the two states.

At the forum, Massimov invited Ukrainian entrepreneurs to conduct their businesses in Kazakhstan as they will be able to enjoy favourable conditions provided by the programmes on business development.

 “The Government of Kazakhstan is implementing colossal infrastructural projects, thus creating “a stability cushion” in the form of the fund. This enables Kazakhstan to confidently look into the future despite the global financial crisis,” Azarov said at the forum. “We have to take all of this into account and bring this into practice [in Ukraine]. We rejoice in Kazakhstan’s successes which create a reliable foundation for our cooperation,” he added.

The business forum ended with the signing of a number of bilateral documents between enterprises of the two countries. Among them, “AeroKZ” and “Antonov” signed an agreement on joint production and post-sale support of aircraft AN-140-100 in Kazakhstan. The plant worth US$ 150 million will be built in Kapchagai in the Almaty region. In the same vein, “International Airlines of Ukraine” and “SCAT” Airline” signed a pro-rate agreement on providing special low tariffs for passengers.

As part of his visit to Astana, Azarov, who is also the head of the “Party of the Regions” met with first deputy chairman of the “Nur Otan” party Nurlan Nigmatulin and discussed issues of inter-party cooperation.

Ukraine is one of the key trading partners of Kazakhstan in the CIS. More than 250 joint enterprises with participation of the Ukrainian capital operate in Kazakhstan.