Economic Cooperation between Belarus and Kazakhstan
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko invited Kazakhstan to take part in the privatization of Belarusian enterprises. He promised to provide priority support to Kazakh businessmen if they are willing to invest. For his part, President Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan has confirmed an interest to participate in the privatization of the Belarusian assets. “We are ready to take an active part in the privatization of enterprises which present interest to us”, he said.
Kazakhstan has lots of potential to invest. As of May 1, 2012, the assets of the National Fund of Kazakhstan reached USD 51.011 billion. Nursultan Nazarbayev had earlier instructed the Kazakh government and the Central Bank to reduce the money in foreign accounts and to redirect resources to finance investment projects in the national economy and developing countries, the major trade partners of Kazakhstan.
Morover, Lukashenko and Nazarbayev plan to discuss a project with Russia that would create a transport corridor from China to the Atlantic coast. Currently, it takes 45 days to deliver goods from China to Europe. The transport corridor would reduce delivery time to 14 days. Alexander Lukashenko believes that the two countries have the potential to double trade turnover to USD 2 billion.
According to the National Statistics Committee, the volume of foreign trade between Belarus and Kazakhstan in the first quarter of 2012 increased by 45.7% to USD 215 million, compared to the same period last year.
The net outflow of foreign direct investment of Kazakhstan residents from Belarus in the first quarter of 2012 was USD-8,000 against a net inflow of USD 206.9 thousand in the first quarter of 2011. According to the National Bank, the liabilities belonging to Kazakhstan nationals in Belarusian banks amounted to USD 46.6 million, as of January 1, 2012.
Following talks, the parties concluded eight official documents, including a joint statement of the two presidents, a memorandum on cooperation between Belarusian “AGAT - Management Systems” JSC and “Kazakhstan Engineering” JSC and Kazakhstan Engineering National Company; and a memorandum of understanding and strategic cooperation between the Belarusian State Concern for Oil and Chemistry “Belneftekhim” and Kazakhstan’s “KazMunaiGas” Company.