NUR-SULTAN – Following last week’s official visit by President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev to Dushanbe, the businesses of the two countries signed agreements worth $100 million, said Kazakh Minister of Trade and integration Bakhyt Sultanov.
Sultanov, who has also been to Dushanbe as part of the delegation, noted the two countries have the potential to bring their trade turnover to $2 billion from the current nearly $800 million.
He said Central Asia is one of the key areas of trade and economic cooperation for Kazakhstan.
“We have established close ties with Tajikistan for a long time – we are the second largest trade partner of the country. Last year, despite the pandemic, our mutual trade turnover grew by 3.7 percent to $791 million. At the same time, our export growth exceeded six percent and reached $693 million. We send our neighbors food products, natural gas, steel and aluminum products, and oil products. And from them, we import mainly ore concentrates and mineral water,” Sultanov wrote on his Facebook page.
But more could be done to unlock greater opportunities. While in Dushanbe, the Kazakh delegation proposed a list of 35 commodity items, where exports could be increased by more than $80 million.
“The use of financial mechanisms of Kazakh Export also helps to increase trade. Two years ago, we opened a representative office in Dushanbe. And now the possibility of financing through KazakhExport a large number of projects on the purchase of Kazakh products by the Tajik side is being discussed,” he said.
Development of joint wholesale and distribution centers, agriculture, and increasing Kazakhstan’s oil exports to Tajikistan are among the measures that Kazakh and Tajik officials agreed to undertake.
“Overall, the potential that remains untapped is enormous. The presidents of the two countries have instructed their governments to intensify work in this area. In the coming years, mutual trade turnover should reach $2 billion,” wrote Sultanov.