Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev and Russian President Vladimir Putin signed or approved numerous bilateral cooperation agreements during their meeting at the 10th annual Forum of Interregional Cooperation of Kazakhstan and Russia on Nov. 11 in Yekaterinburg.
The main document signed by the two leaders is the Treaty on Good-Neighborliness and Alliance in the 21st Century, a framework agreement covering security, trade, cultural and science cooperation. It builds on top of a similar agreement signed in 1992 soon after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
The two leaders attended the forum’s plenary session, which focused on industrial cooperation. During their meeting, they also discussed integration processes within the Customs Union and the planned Eurasian Economic Union. The main focus was prospects for strengthening interregional and border cooperation and expanding partnerships in the fuel and energy, space, atomic and agricultural spheres.
Nazarbayev noted the importance of developing border and interregional trade and deepening trade and economic cooperation between the two countries.
“The idea of the forum of interregional cooperation was announced 10 years ago. Today, we are holding our anniversary meeting. During this time, we have done a lot and the outcomes of interaction served as the basis for the establishment of the Customs Union,” the President of Kazakhstan said.
“Today, we are entering another, qualitatively new level of integration. Trade exchange among the neighbouring regions, which share is about 70 percent of mutual trade turnover, is significantly growing; joint enterprises are being established. We meet in Yekaterinburg, the industrial centre of Russia, the region close to our country. I think the Eurasian Economic Union, which is in the process of establishment, will open even more opportunities for cooperation of both regions and our countries,” Nazarbayev continued.
Vladimir Putin noted the importance and efficiency of the forum of interregional cooperation in developing and strengthening the bilateral partnership.
“After entering the full-format activity of the Customs Union, the trade indicators have considerably improved. I would like to note that trade flows from Kazakhstan to Russia are growing more rapidly than our goods to Kazakhstan. Our investments are also increasing. Russian investments in Kazakhstan reached about US$1 billion for 2012 and Kazakhstan investments to Russia US$1.7 billion,” said Putin.
Within the forum, Nazarbayev also met with Lukoil President Vagit Alekperov to discuss the company’s oil and gas activities in Kazakhstan.
Experts estimate there are up to 5,000 joint ventures between the two countries.