Tatarstan and Kazakhstan: a new turn in cooperation
The relations between the Republics of Tatarstan and Kazakhstan develop rapidly since signing intergovernmental agreement in 1996. It established the principles of scientific, technical, trade, economic and cultural cooperation. In the same year, Nursultan Nazarbayev visited the inauguration of the first President of Tatarstan Mintimer Shaimiev. In 1997, the return visit of the President of Tatarstan in Almaty took place. During the next years cooperation became stronger. 2003 became the Year of Kazakhstan in Russia and 2004 was the Year of Russia in Kazakhstan.
The President of Tatarstan Rustam Minnikhanov took the torch of friendship and brought it in the modern times. In 2014, he visited Kazakhstan several times. The visit in September was dedicated to the Days of Tatarstan’s Culture in Kazakhstan. The following week, the 11th Russia — Kazakhstan Interregional Cooperation Forum was held in Atyrau. Vladimir Putin and Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev took part in it. Traditionally, the delegation of Russia heading to Kazakhstan includes representatives of our Republic. On the forum focused on innovations in hydrocarbon sphere, the agreement between our Republic and two regions of Kazakhstan Kyzylorda and Atyrau was signed. The ceremony was held in the presence of the President of Russia Vladimir Putin and the President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev. In December same year, Tatarstan’s President discussed the issues of defense industry with the Minister of Defense and met the Prime-Minister of Kazakhstan. And in February 2015, Karim Massimov visited Tatarstan. The Head of Kazakhstan Government visited IT-park and Helicopter Factory. During his visit Massimov preferred to speak Tatar. Also, last year one of the central streets of Kazan was named after Nursultan Nazarbayev, as a symbol of friendly ties.
Today, there is a constant exchange of achievements and experience in different spheres between Tatarstan and Kazakhstan, economic ties are developing.
These days, Astana hosts 13th Russia — Kazakhstan Interregional Cooperation Forum, lasting til October 5 with participation of two Heads of the states — Vladimir Putin and Nursultan Nazarbayev. The delegation of Tatarstan was headed by Tatarstan’s President Rustam Minnikhanov, including representatives of Tatarstan Investment Development Agency.
Business program of the event included panel sessions: «Development of Kazakhstan’s and the Russian transport and logistics complex in the context of ensuring effective business needs», «New opportunities in tourism between Kazakhstan and Russia», «Mechanisms of support of exporting raw materials and cooperation projects» and plenary session of the Business Forum, where the executives of leading Kazakhstan’s and Russia’s companies took part.
According to tradition, under the auspices of the Forum an expanded meeting of Russian-Kazakhstan Business Council on removal of barriers and limitations in the field of economic cooperation was held, B2B contact exchange was organized.
It was mentioned on the event that now there are more than 6400 companies working successfully in Kazakhstan in such economic sectors as oil production, manufacturing sector, transport, telecommunication service, mechanical engineering, cooperation in space field, etc. In 2015 trade turnover between Russia and Kazakhstan totalled in USD 15,5 billion.
In his welcoming address Vladimir Putin pointed out that Kazakhstan is a strategic partner and ally of Russia. The cooperation between the countries is of multidimensional and entire nature, developing gradually in all directions, he said.
«We enjoy a truly high level of bilateral trade and investment ties. Kazakhstan holds $9 billion of the Russian capital and has invested $3 billion in the Russian economy. Together, we created 6,000 companies and work alongside each other in almost all sectors of economy. Last year alone, 150 delegations of Russian business people visited Kazakhstan», — the President of Russian Federation stated.
In his speech, Nursultan Nazarbayev said that there is a considerable strength to increase interaction. «We are working in the framework of Eurasian Economic Union, purposefully creating common rules of the game which are clear for all of manufacturers and investors. While injecting in Kazakhstan’s economic, Russian business will be almost «at home», — he said.
On the plenary session, the Heads of the countries discussed the prospects of cooperation between Russia and Kazakhstan in development of transport-logistic facilities of Eurasian area, reduction of trade barriers between the countries and partnership in the sphere of tourism.
According to Vladimir Putin, development of the transport services market is an urgent issue. «Russia and Kazakhstan are at the crossroads of a major trade route between Europe and Asia. We have a common customs border, well developed railway and road systems, and we can ensure high security transport», — the President of Russia said.
During the working visit, the delegation of Tatarstan met the heads of Tatar non-governmental organizations in Kazakhstan. At a modest exhibition, the guests were told about the most prospective projects, which are implemented by local Tatars in Kazakhstan. International festival-competition of Tatar art «Irtish monnari» in Semey, preparation and edition of monthly public newspaper «Zhidepulat tatarlary», exploring creative life of the great Tatar poet Gabdulla Tuqay during his staying in Uralsk (Kazakhstan) are among them. Addressing the participants of the meeting, Rustam Minnikhanov noticed that Tatars of Kazakhstan are contributing to preservation of Tatar language and culture and building spiritual values. «Kazakh and Tatar peoples are tied with relative links», — the President of Tatarstan said. — «We have similar languages and traditions, we are the peoples of the same religion».
Then the representatives of Tatarstan visited new exhibition hall «EXPO-2017», where next summer international specialized exhibition of the same name will be held. Having acquainted with a new complex, Rustam Minnikhanov met the Chairman of the Board of JSC «National company «Astana EXPO-2017» Akhmetzhan Yesimov, and Government of the Republic of Tatarstan and JSC «National company «Astana EXPO-2017» signed memorandum of cooperation. In terms of memorandum, the parties intend to implement cooperation in promoting the improvement of investment climate, simplifying administrative barriers in order to increase tourism, share experience in exhibition activities and others.
On the same day, the meeting with akim of Astana was held. During the conversation, the parties agreed on sharing experience in implementation of a program «Safe city» and modernization of public space. During his working visit, the President of Tatarstan Rustam Minnikhanov took part in opening ceremony of a new building of Tatarstan Plenipotentiary Representative Office in Kazakhstan.
On September 5, meetings of representatives of Tatarstan Investment Development Agency with Astana International Financial Centre and Astana Innovations will be held. Several agreements are expected to be signed.
«For the first half of 2016, the trade turnover between two regions increased by 20%. Today, there are more than 35 joint ventures working in Tatarstan. Such enterprises of Tatarstan as «Kamaz», «Tatneft», JSC «Zelenodolsk plant named after A.M. Gorky» and some others are operating in Kazakhstan. There are a lot of areas for cooperation, in particular, it is necessary to develop working relationship in such spheres as education, culture, mechanical engineering, petrochemistry» — the Head of Tatarstan Investment Development Agency Taliya Minullina said.