Alikhan Smailov calls to intensify CIS countries' removal of barriers and restrictions on trade

As part of a working trip to Sochi (Russia), Prime Minister Alikhan Smailov took part in a regular meeting of the Council of Heads of Government of the Commonwealth of Independent States.

In a narrow format, the parties exchanged views on topical issues of economic interaction in the CIS and discussed the Agreement on Free Trade in Services, Establishment, Activities and Investments. In the broad format the discussion was focused on the development of industrial cooperation between the CIS countries.

In his speech, Alikhan Smailov noted that the CIS continues to act as an important platform for deepening integration ties and maintaining multifaceted cooperation.

"Kazakhstan is interested in further deepening interaction on this platform, strengthening the potential and opening up opportunities of the Commonwealth," he said.

The Prime Minister stressed that one of the main directions is to increase mutual trade. So, the volume of goods turnover between Kazakhstan and the CIS countries last year increased by 9% and amounted to more than $36 billion, and for the first 3 months of this year there was also a 9% increase.

"The increase in this indicator is largely provided by the implementation of the CIS Free Trade Zone Treaty. However, under current conditions, we need to significantly step up work in the CIS to remove existing barriers, restrictions and exemptions in mutual trade," Alikhan Smailov said.

In this context, he noted the importance of the activities of the relevant working group and the need to conclude an agreement on technical barriers to mutual trade.

In this case, according to the head of the government, the signing of an agreement on free trade in services will be a landmark event in the CIS.

"We are confident that the Agreement will open additional opportunities in the CIS and create favorable conditions for further growth of our economies," Alikhan Smailov said.

The Prime Minister also added that under present conditions the role of electronic commerce is significantly increasing. Unlocking the potential of the CIS in this direction requires coordinated action and joint work. In this regard, Kazakhstan supports the development of the appropriate concept of cooperation.

In addition, as Alikhan Smailov noted, industrial cooperation remains an important task.

"The key driver of all economic development is industry, and we are already taking steps to strengthen this cooperation. We expect that the Concept of industrial cooperation of CIS states and the Complex of measures for the development of industrial cooperation of CIS states until 2030 will give a serious impetus in this direction," he said.

At the same time, one of the important conditions for sustainable development is the transition to a "green" economy. Thus, Kazakhstan carries out systematic work to improve the efficiency of the use of resources and leveling the negative factors affecting the environment.

"Given that all the CIS countries have similar objectives, I urge the governments of the Commonwealth countries to unite their efforts in this direction. The International Center of Green Technologies and Investment Projects in Astana can become a platform for joint activities," Prime Minister concluded.

At the end of the meeting a number of agreements and other documents were signed.

#Alikhan Smailov #The Prime Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan #Economy #International Cooperation

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