22 June 2023, 18:00
A wide range of issues of interstate cooperation were discussed by the Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Alikhan Smailov with the Prime Minister of Azerbaijan Ali Asadov during his official visit to Baku.
During the talks the parties discussed in detail the issues of cooperation in such areas as trade, transport and logistics, energy and agriculture. In addition, plans for implementation of joint IT-projects and cultural and humanitarian initiatives were considered.
Alikhan Smailov emphasized that Azerbaijan is a brotherly and friendly country for Kazakhstan, a key partner in the South Caucasus region. To date, relations between the states in both bilateral and multilateral formats are built on the principles of strategic partnership and alliance.
"The Government of Kazakhstan is ready to continue active joint work on the practical implementation of the tasks set at the highest level. In particular, Kazakhstan is ready to increase its supplies to Azerbaijan on 100 commodity items worth over $300 million in the near future in order to bring the volume of mutual trade to $1 billion," he said.
As Prime Minister noted, the countries actively cooperate in the transport and logistics sector. In this direction, a key role is played by the full disclosure of the potential of the Trans-Caspian international transport route, through which cargo traffic has already exceeded one million tons since the beginning of the year, up 64% compared to the same period last year.
At the same time, within the framework of eliminating bottlenecks on the route, such major projects as construction of two railway tracks on the Dostyk-Moyinty section, a container hub in the port of Aktau and a bypass railway line of Almaty station are being implemented on the Kazakhstani section.
"In general we have managed to reduce transit time through the territory of Kazakhstan by half from 12 to 6 days, by the end of this year we aim to reduce it to 5 days," Alikhan Smailov said, emphasizing the importance of similar work on the Azerbaijani section of the route.
The Head of Government also emphasized the importance of joint measures on digitalization of the Middle Corridor, which will significantly increase transparency and speed of passage of goods.
In turn, Prime Minister Ali Asadov noted that over the years the relations between the countries have grown to the level of strategic partnership and the arrival of a representative Kazakh delegation demonstrates the intention to achieve the implementation of agreements reached by the heads of the two states.
"Last year was marked by high rates of our bilateral trade and economic relations. The growth was more than 4.5 times. We hope that the rates and volumes of this year will correspond to those indicators and the dynamics will be upward," Ali Asadov said.
He added that cooperation in oil and gas and transit-logistics spheres is also actively developing, in particular, there is a high dynamics of growth of railway transportation and transit as a whole.
"Today we are planning to sign a solid package of documents affecting many areas of our cooperation. Let's hope that the set tasks will be achieved," the Prime Minister of Azerbaijan stressed.
As a result of the talks, 10 documents were signed to strengthen cooperation in transport and logistics, digitalization, tourism, sports, culture and other areas.
As Minister of Industry and Infrastructural Development Marat Garabayev noted, one of them was an agreement to increase the number of permitted air flights between the countries. According to him, previously airlines could perform no more than 32 flights per week. Now this limit has been expanded to 42 flights.
Besides, one of the most important documents is an agreement on creating a joint logistics company for further development of the Trans-Caspian international transport route. Today it was signed by Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan, and the signing of the agreement by another participating party, Georgia, is expected in the near future.
"A single company is being created between Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Georgia. It will deal with the unification of tariffs and handling of all cargo on the TITR. The main task of the company will be to carry out cargo transportation between China and Europe. Maximum simplification of all processes. Previously the delivery time was 53 days, today it is reduced to 18-23 days. The activities of the new company will reduce the delivery time to 18 days guaranteed this year, and then to 10-15 days," the Minister said.
According to him, the third document concerns maximum digitization of this transport corridor, namely the cargo flow passing through it. In order to realize this initiative major international investors are going to be involved.
The list of documents signed as a result of negotiations between the Prime Ministers of Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan:
– Agreement on the basic principles of establishment and operation of a joint venture between Azerbaijani Railroads CJSC and NC Kazakhstan Temir Zholy JSC;
– Memorandum of strategic cooperation on the transit of Kazakh oil through the territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan between JSC National Company KazMunayGas and the State Oil Company of the Republic of Azerbaijan;
– Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Culture and Sports of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the State Agency for Tourism of the Republic of Azerbaijan on cooperation in the field of tourism;
– Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Culture and Sports of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Ministry of Youth and Sports of the Republic of Azerbaijan on cooperation in the field of sports;
– Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Culture and Sports of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Azerbaijan on cooperation in the field of culture;
– Action plan on implementation of Agreement between the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of Population of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of the Republic of Azerbaijan on cooperation in the field of labor, employment, and social protection of the population dated May 24, 2005 for the period from 2023 to 2024;
– Protocol of meeting between the Ministry of Industry and Infrastructural Development of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Ministry of Digital Development and Transport of the Republic of Azerbaijan;
– Memorandum of Cooperation in the field of expansion of transport cooperation and digitalization of the Middle Corridor between the Ministry of Industry and Infrastructural Development of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Ministry of Digital Development and Transport of the Republic of Azerbaijan;
– Memorandum of Cooperation in the supply of ships and railway locomotives between the Ministry of Industry and Infrastructural Development of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Azerbaijan;
– Agreement on the Joint Venture for laying the fiber-optic communication line on the Caspian Sea bed between Kazakhtelecom JSC and Azertelecom LLC.
#Alikhan Smailov #The Prime Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan #Foreign trips #International Cooperation