ASTANA – Kazakh and Kyrgyz business leaders signed commercial documents worth nearly $65 million during the first Interregional Forum, attended by Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Alikhan Smailov and Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers and Head of Presidential Administration of the Kyrgyz Republic Akylbek Zhaparov, on Sept. 22-23 in Taraz, reported the Prime Minister’s press service.
The agreements include the supply of poultry meat, medical and confectionery products, complex micro-fertilizers, ammophos, sodium cyanide, limestone, and shale, the provision of trade intermediary services, as well as the implementation of initiatives in light industry and banking.
During two days, business representatives discussed prospects for effective partnership, and regions’ authorities addressed current topics of economic and social development, agro-industrial cooperation, and water and energy cooperation.
Smailov and Japarov also took part in the 11th meeting of the Kazakh-Kyrgyz Intergovernmental Council to address trade and economic cooperation, interaction in water use and energy, implementation of cooperative projects in industry and agriculture, development of the transit and transport potential and joint initiatives in tourism and culture.
Smailov emphasized that thanks to the efforts of the heads of the two states, the Kazakh-Kyrgyz strategic partnership has gained high dynamics in recent years.
“For us, the Kyrgyz Republic is not only a friendly neighbor and a fraternal country but also an important trade and economic partner,” he noted.
Mutual trade turnover between the countries is steadily growing. In 2022, trade volume increased by nearly 19%, reaching $1.3 billion. In January-July, trade turnover increased by 13% to $757 million.
Smailov spoke about prospects in industrial cooperation, agriculture, and digitalization. According to him, it is necessary to accelerate the implementation of a number of important joint projects. Notably, the Kazakh-Kyrgyz industrial trade and logistics complexes, to be opened soon in border areas, will facilitate the implementation of new cooperation projects and contribute to achieving the goal set by the Presidents of the two states to increase trade turnover to $2 billion.
Smailov and Japarov also agreed to continue close cooperation in the water sector in the spirit of mutual respect and good neighborliness, considering the interests of both countries.
“It is imperative to develop cooperation in ecology and rational water use, which directly impacts the citizens’ livelihoods. We need an effective monitoring mechanism through digitizing interstate water channels to ensure fair and transparent management of water resources. It is important to ensure the exchange of hydrological information, particularly on inflow to reservoirs and water intake throughout the basin,” Smailov emphasized, adding that improving legal mechanisms for sharing water resources will strengthen mutually beneficial cooperation.
Following the meeting, the parties confirmed their readiness to maintain good and effective contacts in all mutually beneficial areas of cooperation. They signed the protocol of the 11th meeting of the Kazakh-Kyrgyz Intergovernmental Council. Akims (Mayors) of Shymkent and Osh, Aktobe, and Jalal-Abad Regions signed memorandums to establish twinning relations.