Strategic direction of integration and partnership

Sept 20. Kazpravda. Pavlodar

By Sergey Gorbunov

Strategic direction of integration and partnershipPresidents Nursultan Nazarbayev and Vladimir Putin yesterday took part in the plenary session of the IX Forum of Interregional Cooperation of Russia and Kazakhstan.

Growth will provide innovations

The theme of the forum was an innovative collaboration between the two countries.

– This year our countries celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance. Today, Kazakhstan and Russia resolve similar problems of modernization of national economies and innovation. In this regard, the forum’s theme – innovative cooperation is of special importance, – said Nursultan Nazarbayev.

The President noted much work has been recently done for development of innovations and high technologies. Thus, only for the past two years more than 440 new plants worth $ 12 billion were launched in Kazakhstan. In general, 700 industrial and innovative projects worth $ 77 billion are planned for realization. According to the results of this forum the portfolio of joint projects will include 27 agreements worth about $ 2 billion.

The President also noted that the partnership in industrial cooperation between the two countries reached a new level.

– Having united in the frames of the Common Economic Space we removed barriers to businesses. Now we need to build effective inter-regional industrial clusters. One of the successful examples is creation of the automobile production in the East Kazakhstan region – a large-scale project with the investment of $ 400 million and capacity of 5.7 billion dollars, – said the President.

Another promising area of intergovernmental cooperation, as the President marked, is the transition to the principles of “green” economy. Kazakhstan has consistently promoted the initiative of “Green Bridge”, which is a practical mechanism for development of clean industry. Today these advanced technologies are the foundation of the innovative growth in developed countries.

– We should unite efforts and work together to create technological infrastructure for the “green” economy of our states, – said Nursultan Nazarbayev.

He also noted the need for cooperation in development of industries of the future, in particular, of the space sphere.

– Baikonur spaceport should become an international brand and a symbol of qualitatively new stage in promotion of our bilateral relations, – said the Head of State.

Kazakhstan is also interested in setting up a laboratory of space technologies in Astana. In keeping with the joint statement on space, adopted by the two Presidents in June 2012 in Astana, Nursultan Nazarbayev outlined the need to develop a long-term program on sharing the Baikonur cosmodrome and space cooperation. It is important to include in this program the issues of modernization of the city and creation of infrastructure, meeting the modern requirements.

– The integration of the three elements of the “knowledge triangle” – education, research and innovations – should become the main direction of our partnership in the twenty first century. We have positive examples of cooperation. This is a joint fund of nanotechnologies “Kazyna Capital Management” and “Rusnano”, the Center of high technologies in the EurAsEC, – stated Nursultan Nazarbayev.

The President has proposed new measures. It is necessary to revive the Joint Commission on Scientific and Technical Cooperation. Many agreements in this field require a radical upgrade, as well as the joint research projects. Now the list of 130 projects has been formed. No less important is training of engineering and technical personnel, said the President.

– We are interested in a wide student exchange, training and retraining of specialists in technical and other fields. We are ready to expand cooperation with Russian universities and research institutes, especially in new technologies area, – said Nursultan Nazarbayev.

Speaking of the development of innovative clusters, the President invited Russian companies to participate in the work of the innovative park in Almaty and emerging centers of agricultural innovation and in creation of a science city in Kurchatov. Nursultan Nazarbayev also suggested a partnership between the Skolkovo innovation center and the new International University of Astana.

– Following the example of European countries, it is expedient to develop appropriate technology platform – a unified research network with universities, research centers and businesses. The effective commercialization of scientific research is the ground for a competitive industrial production. I am convinced that Kazakhstan and Russia jointly could form a full-term technological and industrial alliance, – said Nursultan Nazarbayev.

According to the leader of Kazakhstan, formation of a new level in development of international relations can be compared to construction of a skyscraper. Each meeting of the parties and signed within its frames agreements can erect new floors of this high-tech home.

– And today, throughout the Eurasian region, it is the largest and most beautiful building. It serves as a reference for other countries and it is not afraid of any crises and shocks. Indeed, in its foundation are centuries-old traditions of good neighborliness, friendship and mutual assistance of the fraternal peoples, – concluded Nursultan Nazarbayev.

In turn, Vladimir Putin stressed the relevance of the topics at the forum, and noted that Kazakhstan and Russia are facing similar challenges to diversify the sources of economic growth.

Today, 5 similar border forums have been held in the Russian Federation and it should be noted that the practical impact of such events is growing every year. Currently, about 400 joint ventures are working in the border regions of Russia and Kazakhstan. There is a hope that not only big companies but also small and medium businesses will join the work on innovations.

According to experts in the developed economies of the world about 30-35% of innovative products and services are created by small and medium sized business, – said Vladimir Putin.

The Russian President noted that the provision of high economic growth is a major challenge for the two countries and we need to strengthen the scientific and technical capabilities, as well as the investment potential of our countries.

A good base has been set up for development of the regional high-tech collaboration. 76 subjects of the Russian Federation have established business contacts with the Kazakh partners. The most active in this area are Moscow city, Moscow, Novosibirsk, Orenburg, Kurgan, Chelyabinsk regions, the Altai and Krasnoyarsk region, Tatarstan, Bashkortostan, Khakassia, – said the head of the Russian Federation.

Vladimir Putin also stressed that the branch of mechanical engineering is a priority in the introduction of scientific technologies.

– In the coming years we plan to open a full cycle car plant in Kazakhstan. We are also interested in a joint venture to assemble civil helicopters. Today we have the Russian-Kazakh fund of nanotechnologies. The most significant projects and their implementation will improve the quality and scale of industrial cooperation between the two countries, – said the Russian leader.

The application of innovations, according to Vladimir Putin, will seriously increase the reliability and efficiency of transportation systems.

– For such close countries with the common boundary of almost seven thousand kilometers it is an extremely important and urgent task, first of all for formation of a transit corridor Europe – Western China. Running through St. Petersburg, Kazan, Orenburg, Aktobe and Almaty, to the borders with China it will not only seriously strengthen the transport infrastructure in Russia and Kazakhstan, but also provide a shorter and more profitable routes between the rapidly developing Asia-Pacific region and Europe , – said the RF President.

Of course, the innovations are primarily fresh ideas and bold innovative solutions. Therefore it is necessary to involve potential of scientific and educational communities of the two countries, believes the Russian leader. The achievements of Russian and Kazakh universities and research centers are well known, the more especially as many of them have been successfully cooperating with each other. Thus, in May 2012 in Omsk 25 educational institutions took part in the second forum of universities of border regions of Russia and Kazakhstan.

– The formation of the Customs Union and the Common Economic Space opens new and greater opportunities for the development of bilateral cooperation. Now we have a huge market with over 165 million consumers. The unification of the legislation to ensure free movement of people, capital, goods and labor is essential to improve our competitiveness. We expect that the Russian and Kazakh regions will use all these achievements and newly created conditions for the development, – concluded Vladimir Putin.

Regions promote interaction

The content of the talks between the Presidents of Russia and Kazakhstan, held within the frames of the forum, once again demonstrated the unity of purposes of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Russian Federation in development of bilateral relations and mutual prosperity on the basis of friendship. The two leaders discussed the issues of strengthening cooperation, in particular, the industrial-innovative and inter-regional development, and effective cooperation in fuel and energy complex.

– The traditional Interregional Cooperation Forum is an effective platform to develop and strengthen the trade and economic relations between the two countries. This forum is dedicated to innovative cooperation between Kazakhstan and Russia. These days a large exhibition with the participation of over 600 companies is working in Pavlodar. Moreover, 27 contracts for the sum of $ 2 billion are expected to be signed within the business forum, – said Nursultan Nazarbayev.

The Kazakh President also stressed that the regional forums are a good example of trade and economic cooperation to other countries.

In turn, Vladimir Putin noted the importance and effectiveness of cross-border forum to develop and strengthen bilateral cooperation.

– The regional cooperation is a key interaction between our countries. Thus, of the 83 regions of Russia, nearly 80 cooperate with Kazakhstan. The volume of trade is growing and it is very important for people living in the border regions. The forum, initiated by Nursultan Nazarbayev has played an important role in establishment of the Customs Union and the Common Economic Space, – said the Russian leader.

The sides also exchanged views on management of water resources and protection of transboundary rivers and sharing the Baikonur complex.

At the end of the IX Interregional Cooperation Forum Presidents of Kazakhstan and Russia held a joint briefing. RK leader thanked Vladimir Putin and the Russian delegation for the participation in the forum.

Nursultan Nazarbayev also noted with satisfaction the ongoing development of trade and economic relations between Kazakhstan and the Russian Federation. Thus, in 2011 the trade turnover grew by 30%, to USD 23 billion and in the first half of this year it exceeded 11 billion dollars.

– Cooperation between Kazakhstan and Russia in the frames of the Common Economic Space removed many barriers to the active interaction of our companies. I am confident that the agreements will further develop and enhance the partnership between the two countries, and will be for the benefit of our people, – said Nursultan Nazarbayev.

Vladimir Putin, in his speech said that 2012 was a turning point for Russia and Kazakhstan.

– This year we mark the 20th anniversary of diplomatic relations between our countries. Over the years we have built a strong foundation of bilateral relations in the spirit of strategic partnership. The established legal basis has been continuously improved at all levels, as well as political contacts. An important area of bilateral partnership is an innovative collaboration. It is our strategic direction. If we come together for such projects, the work will become more effective. And the Customs Union and the Common Economic Space are aimed at that.

– I want to emphasize that at the recently held in Vladivostok APEC forum, all Russian partners in the Pacific region paid great attention to the Customs Union and the Common Economic Space. Practically at all bilateral meetings our partners expressed a desire to establish direct contacts with these integration associations. This is a very promising work, and we will continue to improve such cooperation, – said Vladimir Putin.

Contacts and Contracts

The outcome of the forum is a number of agreements aimed at deepening intergovernmental partnership. Among the signed documents there is an Agreement between RK Ministry of Agriculture and RF Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection on reproduction and use of the Volga-Ural saiga population, the Protocol amending the Agreement between the Government of Kazakhstan and the Government of the Russian Federation on trade and economic cooperation in oil and petroleum products supply to the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Protocol to the Agreement between the RK and the RF Governments on cooperation in the prevention of industrial accidents, natural disasters and their consequences.

Another 20 commercial agreements were signed at the forum, including between the JSC “Bank of Kazakhstan Development” and the LLP “Euraz Caspian Stal” on a joint project to build a complex of small sections in Kostanay the capacity of 450 000 tons of rebar per year. This document was concluded in the frames of the signed in August agreement to open a credit line between the BKD and the abovementioned partnership. Currently, the plant construction is underway and 30% of the work has been done.

In addition, the agreements on cooperation were concluded between the JSC “National Agency for Technological Development” (RK) and the LLP “KE Group” (Russia) on creation of the Center for information technologies in the “Park of innovative technologies”; a memorandum of partnership under the modernization program between the JSC “Central-Asian Electric Power Corporation” (RK) and Russian JSC “NOVAEM”; the JSC “Ural Turbine Works” and the NGO “ELSIB” signed a memorandum on purchase and reconstruction of boilers, turbines, turbo-generators for power plant of the JSC “CAEPCO” as a part of the modernization program.

In the same row there is a Memorandum of understanding and cooperation between the JSC “Entrepreneurship Development Fund “Damu” and the JSC “Sberbank of Russia” for the development of private enterprise in the border areas of our country through the provision of financial and non-financial measures to support the entrepreneurs of the Customs Union; an Agreement on cooperation between the chambers of commerce of Pavlodar and Saratov regions, a framework agreement between the AZAMAT Airlines (RK) and the JSC “Foreign Economic Association” Aviaexport” (Russia) on the consulting services for introduction of the latest technologies in air transport area.

The business negotiations also yielded results in the form of a memorandum of cooperation between the JSC “Inter RAO UES” and the JSC “Samruk-Energo”; a memorandum of understanding between the JSC “AvtoVAZ” and the JSC “Asia Auto” and the memorandum on cooperation between the JSC “Scientific” and Production Corporation “Uralvagonzavod” and the JSC “National Company “Kazakhstan Engineering”.

The regions also concluded a number of agreements directly, in particular, between the administration of the Altai region, the Government of Astrakhan and Pavlodar regions – on trade, economic, scientific-technical and cultural cooperation; the Pavlodar and Tomsk regions also signed a memorandum on cooperation and an action plan was approved for collaboration of the Pavlodar oblast with the Novosibirsk and Omsk regions and the Altai Territory.

During the final part of the forum, deputy PM Kairat Kelimbetov, RF Minister of Industry and Trade Denis Mansurov, President of Tatarstan Rustam Minnikhanov, governor of Pavlodar region Yerlan Aryn and Governor of Sverdlovsk oblast Yevgeni Kuyvashev talked on promotion of the Kazakh-Russian partnership. As it was noted the Forum has become an important event for politicians and businessmen of the two countries.

Within the frames of the Forum RK minister of emergency situations Vladimir Bozhko and Russian minister for civil defense, emergencies and disaster Vladimir Puchkov on the instructions of the two Presidents signed a protocol to the intergovernmental agreement on cooperation in prevention of industrial accidents, natural disasters and response to their consequences of March 28, 1994.

The abovementioned protocol creates a legal framework for response to emergencies in the border areas of Kazakhstan and Russia by establishing a simplified procedure for crossing the state border of emergency services and formations of the two countries.

The next X Forum of Interregional Cooperation of Russia and Kazakhstan will be held next year in Yekaterinburg.