Official talks with Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev
A new stage in Belarus-Kazakhstan cooperation has begun. It will focus on innovations and high technologies, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said after negotiations with his Kazakhstan counterpart Nursultan Nazarbayev on 29 November.
“I am pleased to say that this visit has launched a new stage in bilateral cooperation. Mutual penetration of capital with a focus on innovations and high technologies will be its distinguishing trait. It is a peculiarity of today’s meeting. Tomorrow belongs to cutting-edge technologies. Belarus and Kazakhstan are ready to work for the future. We look to the future,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
According to the head of state, cooperation in the area of information technologies looks promising. “Belarus already develops a respectable volume of software for many countries and is ready to work together and share the best practices with Kazakhstani brothers. Let me reiterate: we are not going to hide anything from you. You are free to get full information about everything we can do in this regard. We will show everything to you,” assured Aleksandr Lukashenko.
Aleksandr Lukashenko remarked that the existing serious basis of productive bilateral relations allows moving on to a new level of technology. The sides reached the relevant agreement today. “We are interested in proposals about promising projects in various areas such as petrochemical industry, agriculture, power engineering, transport, logistics, and new technologies,” said the Belarusian head of state.
The head of state hailed the current visit as symbolic. This year the two countries mark 25 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations. During this period, the countries have become not just friends but major strategic and economic partners. “Today I can say with confidence that Kazakhstan is an important and time-tested ally both in the format of bilateral relations and also in the integration associations and international organizations,” the Belarusian head of state noted.
The talks of the two leaders were held in the traditionally warm and friendly atmosphere. The presidents discussed a wide range of issues. The Belarusian-Kazakhstani contacts were extensive this year. A constructive meeting was held within the framework of the SCO Summit; a series of visits by senior officials was carries out. Belarus took an active part in Astana EXPO 2017. Such intensity of dialogue highlights the strategic nature of our relations and partnership, the Belarusian president noted.
“I am convinced that Belarus and Kazakhstan have a great potential to bolster bilateral ties. It is important to intensify investments in manufacturing and promotion of merchandise and services export. We need to set up our own transnational corporations in the Eurasian Economic Union for successful promotion of our goods in foreign markets. We have the resources to match such ambitious plans. Moreover, we endorsed the proposal of our governments to establish such corporations in areas from education to logistics,” the Belarusian head of state noted.
Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed that the economic competitiveness depends on the prompt introduction of cutting-edge manufacturing and financial technologies and instruments. The international financial center Astana is being constructed in Kazakhstan. It will become a regional financial cluster. In turn, the Belarus-China industrial park Great Stone should become the innovative ‘city of the future’ aimed at high-technology export. Both facilities are located on the Great Silk Road. Mutual participation in these projects will speed up and strengthen the integration of our countries into the global economy,” the President noted.
In his words, the international financial center Astana and Belarus’ Hi-Tech Park should start introducing cutting-edge developments. “We have discussed this matter with the president and welcomed the proposal of the governments to expand the contacts between the financial center and the Hi-Tech Park,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
Belarus is ready to share its unmanned aerial vehicle technologies with Kazakhstan.
“Belarus is ready to share serious know-how concerning unmanned aerial vehicles. In addition to selling the drones we can share drone manufacturing technologies,” said the Belarusian head of state.
According to Aleksandr Lukashenko, the potential of Belarus-Kazakhstan scientific and technical ties is underused. “I believe it is important to advance partnership with Kazakhstan in space exploration, for instance, in such areas as the remote sensing of Earth, space research, and space communication,” he noted.
Aleksandr Lukashenko added that Belarus could also offer proprietary innovative solutions for agriculture to partners.
Aleksandr Lukashenko also sees opportunities to enhance industrial cooperation with Kazakhstan. According to him, industrial cooperation remains a driver of bilateral economic cooperation. “We are ready to increase the level of localization for the goods jointly produced in Kazakhstan, which, in turn, will help create new jobs,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
Belarus is also determined to remain a reliable transit partner for Kazakhstan. The participation of the two countries in the Silk Road Economic Belt initiative opens up new opportunities for the development of our states, the expansion of transport corridors, the development of logistics infrastructure for the fast and convenient delivery of cargoes between Europe an Asia.
“We have positive experience in housing and road construction in Kazakhstan. The mutual recognition of administrative procedures for organizations who seek access to the market of design and construction works in the Eurasian Economic Union will help us move onto a new level of cooperation,” the president said.
He also believes it is important to intensify the dialogue between the EAEU member states on the matter.
Aleksandr Lukashenko stated his intention to continue to actively maintain contacts in the fields of education, culture, and healthcare. “Our countries can be proud by right of the results of humanitarian cooperation,” Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed. It is important that we maintain the spirit of friendship and mutual respect between peoples which we inherited from the Soviet Union and pass it over to the younger generations. Therefore I suggest resuming the days of culture. This will contribute to the rapprochement of our people and promotion of traditions, achievements and historical heritage,” the president said.
There is a mutual interest to preserve and develop the positive momentum of bilateral relations, especially in trade and economic cooperation. In January-September 2017 the trade between the countries surged by almost 65% and amounted to $0.5 billion. Yet it is insufficient. It does not correspond to the potential of the two states. Aleksandr Lukashenko endorsed the proposal of his Kazakhstan counterpart to take stock of the imports of the two countries and see whether they can be replaced. “We strive to bring the trade to more than $1 billion, as it once was,” the President noted.
In terms of politics and diplomacy, Aleksandr Lukashenko stated that the parties hold absolutely similar views. “We support each other, always and everywhere. We are the closest allies,” he said.