NUR-SULTAN – President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev addressed the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council meeting in a virtual format on 27 May emphasizing the need for greater cooperation amid rising global and regional challenges, reports the presidential press service.
He commended the efforts of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) countries to ensure macroeconomic stability and growth dynamics.
Since the union entered into force in 2015, Kazakhstan’s trade with union members has increased by 33 percent, and exports – by 55 percent. The trade turnover between Kazakhstan and the union countries in 2021 reached US$26.1 billion.
Increasing trade and economic cooperation will strengthen what Tokayev described as “collective immunity” against global challenges.
“More than 15,000 joint ventures are operating in Kazakhstan, and their number continues to grow. This is a positive development. These figures testify to the success of our integration cooperation. I believe it is important to continue our joint efforts toward dynamic development of our trade and economic cooperation for the benefit of our citizens,” said Tokayev.
In February, the union created a working group to ensure the stability of the economies as they struggle to address the impact of Western sanctions imposed on Russia.
“A package of operational measures has been developed. It is being implemented and already shows results. But we must understand that the current geopolitical situation will be long-lasting. And we must be prepared for that,” he said.
In doing so, he suggested accelerating the completion of joint projects and initiating new investment projects.
“We need to focus on creating comfortable conditions for the relocation of foreign companies, taking into account the sanctions context. Even global giants are well aware of the advantages of the EAEU geo-economic location and besides, it is impossible to ignore the potential of our 180 million-strong consumer market. I propose to implement these measures within 12 months,” said Tokayev.
According to him, trade should be intensified not only within the union, but also with other countries and integration associations – one of the priorities of Kazakhstan’s chairmanship in the EAEU bodies in 2021.
“At the end of the last year, we signed a memorandum of understanding with the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. We should soon put this work into practice by starting to discuss specific projects and initiatives. Today we start negotiations on a free trade agreement with Indonesia. Negotiations with India are underway, and an agreement with Mongolia is being developed,” said Tokayev.
The meeting of the council comes just a day after President Tokayev addressed the First Eurasian Economic Forum as part of his official visit to Bishkek. The forum discussed the most acute issues related to Eurasian integration.