meeting before the plenary session of the 15th Russia-Kazakhstan Interregional Cooperation
President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev: Mr President,
I cordially welcome you to yet
another region of Northern Kazakhstan.
Yesterday we held a meeting of the supreme CSTO council in Astana. We met all our goals and adopted the corresponding decisions there.
Today we are having our annual
interregional meeting between the regions of Russia and the regions of Kazakhstan. We meet to sum up last year’s work.
I must note that, with mutual trade
about to reach $18 billion this year, the regions account for 70 percent of the total goods turnover.
In addition, we also chose another
topic for our agenda – tourism, a theme that has not been explored yet. Elsewhere
in the world, tourism accounts for 10 percent of GDP, but in our countries the figure stands at only 1 percent.
Russia is a big country; Kazakhstan
is also big. It will greatly benefit both our countries to communicate, to suggest places to go to, to visit for tourists, and it will contribute to a revival
of our interstate trade.
So thank you for coming here. Today
we will hold a forum. It will serve to improve the rapprochement and better mutual
understanding of our peoples and an expansion of trade and economic relations.
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Thank you very much, Mr President.
Indeed, this topic is very
interesting in the context of the growing trade, because this is an additional niche.
On the whole, our situation is
developing positively, and trade is growing. Kazakhstan is Russia’s second largest
trade and economic partner in the CIS after Belarus.
Our mutual trade is growing fast,
according to our experts, so Kazakhstan has every chance to win first place.
Moreover, our economic relations are
very diverse: they embrace high technologies, including space, hydrocarbons and transport. Now we are going to add tourism, which indeed has significant potential
for Kazakhstan and Russia.
I would say we should make this
palette more interesting, more meaningful. For our part, we will make every
effort to make this area of our cooperation come alive as it should.