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Kyrgyzstan’s joining Customs Union may solve labor migration problems

November 25, 2013, 14:16 UTC+3 BISHKEK

Kyrgyz authorities decided to enter the union in spring 2011

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BISHKEK, November 25, 13:46 /ITAR-TASS/. Joining the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan (CU) and future accession to the Common Economic Space of Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan will allow central Asia's Kyrgyzstan to settle problems of labor migration, the republic’s Economy Minister, Temir Sariev, told a news conference on Monday.

He said Kyrgyzstan’s entry into the Customs Union would resolve “practically all the issues connected with the legality of labor migrants’ presence in the territory of these states”.

“In the event that we refuse to join the Customs Union, the republic’s economy will face significant difficulties,” Sariev said, noting that Russia and Kazakhstan accounted for the major part of Kyrgyzstan’s trade.

“Out of 140 countries of the world with which we maintain trade relations, CU states account for 43.9 percent of trade turnover,” Sariev said. “Russia accounts for 27.1 percent, Kazakhstan for 14.6 percent and Belarus for 2.2 percent.”

That is why, he said, “any changes in the conditions” of trade with these countries “will have a negative impact on almost all sectors of Kyrgyzstan’s economy. Besides, CU states provided Kyrgyzstan with “strategic products”, including fuel and lubrication materials.

Kyrgyz authorities decided to enter the union in spring 2011. Some days ago, representatives from Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan together with Kyrgyz representatives approved a road map plan for the republic’s integration into the assembly.

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