Kazakh Trade and Integration Minister advocates increase in foreign trade turnover
Kazakhstan should manufacture competitive products and sell them abroad, particularly in the United States and Europe. This initiative can be profitable, but the product must be highly specialized, stated Kazakh Minister of Trade and Integration Bakhyt Sultanov during a reporting meeting with the population. He explained that these could be components for aircraft construction that are already being produced in eastern Kazakhstan, dual-use products or diesel locomotives. Sultanov said that cross-border trade and cooperation with neighboring countries should also be actively developed. Trade among the countries of economic integration associations is now a key factor in supporting the development of the member states.
“How does it work in other associations? For example, trade in the European Union between the member states exceeds 60 percent of the total turnover, and 47 percent in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Unfortunately, within the Eurasian Economic Union, trade turnover is only 14 percent, but then it dropped to 11 percent in the context of coronavirus pandemic. We still have a lot of work to do for deepening economic and trade integration,” Sultanov said.
He also stressed that following the results of the first six months of 2020, Kazakhstan’s foreign trade turnover also began to decline amidst the overall slowdown in global trade and decreased by 7.4 percent.
“From January to June in 2020, foreign trade turnover amounted to US$42.5 billion. Compared to the same period last year, it decreased by US$3.4 billion or 7.4 percent. The country’s exports in the first half of 2020 declined by 9.1 percent to US$26 billion. Compared to 2019, imports fell by 4.6 percent to US$16.5 billion. Imports in the same period of last year amounted to US$17.3 billion,” Sultanov concluded.