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Putin promises financial support to Russian-Kazakh business

The initiative includes the involvement of supranational financial institutions

ASTANA, October 4. /TASS/. Russia intends to provide financial support to the Russian-Kazakh business initiatives, which in particular includes the involvement of supranational financial institutions, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at a meeting of the Russian-Kazakh business forum.

"We plan to provide a significant financial support to joint Russian-Kazakh business initiatives, not only through national agencies such as VEB and the Russian Industry Development Fund, but also through multilateral institutions, in particular, through the Eurasian Development Bank," he said.

Putin added that a relevant program of industrial and technical cooperation is being carried out in Russia as well as the work is under way to harmonize sectoral legislation and simplify administrative procedures with Kazakhstan.

Besides that Russia is creating a common market with Kazakhstan in terms of road, rail, air and sea links.

"We will continue to promote the convergence of the two economies, formation of prerequisites for the creation of new projects," the head of the Russian state said.

However, Putin said, "even amid challenging environment we’ll be taking efforts to get the mutual trade back to the trajectory of sustainable development and growth further on, with the help of business communities of both countries."

Putin noted that Moscow and Astana "has already achieved a lot in liberalization of mutual trade by consistently eliminating restrictions that hamper the movement of goods, capital, services and labor."

At the same time, the Russian president urged removal of the remaining infrastructure constraints on the border between Russia and Kazakhstan.

He noted that the Russian authorities are working hard to promote exports, in particular - the Russian export center was established, providing assistance in the promotion of competitive products on foreign markets.

"It is expected that in 2016 the support will be provided to 200 companies, the amount of funds reserved for this purpose is up to $8 bln," Putin said.

Besides that the President stressed that Russia is working on the improvement of the business climate and ensuring comfortable conditions for foreign companies (including Kazakh companies). Also the work is underway to remove administrative barriers and to lighten the tax burden, Putin said.

"From 2016 "supervisory vacation" has been introduced and the four-year moratorium on tax increase (until 2018) is now effective," Putin said.

President drew attention to the modernization of industry and agriculture, as well as to implementation of import substitution program.

"Kazakhstan has very good opportunities there (in those areas - TASS) and I should say that Kazakhstan uses these opportunities, and the volume of those products, which could be supplied to our market in bigger volumes, is really growing," the Russian leader said.

Putin also said that the rating of business climate had been launched in the Russian regions and this helps investors to choose the most attractive region for investments.

As one of the measures to boost the development of small and medium enterprises the government launched the Business Navigator service. This is a free electronic service that contains information about

Russian-Kazakh trade cooperation

According to the president, Russia will take efforts to get the trade and economic relations with Kazakhstan back to growth trajectory.

"In 2015, the trade turnover amounted to $15.5 bln. True, the volumes of mutual trade have decreased, unfortunately," he said, adding that the decline was caused mainly by "market factors, first of all by persisting turmoil on global markets, currency fluctuations and high volatility of commodity prices."

However, Putin said, "even amid challenging environment we’ll be taking efforts to get the mutual trade back to the trajectory of sustainable development and growth further on, with the help of business communities of both countries."

According to the president, "for Russia Kazakhstan is a strategic partner and an ally while the multifaceted cooperation is developing incrementally in all areas." Also, he added, "bilateral trade and investment ties have reached a high level."

"Kazakhstan has accumulated $9 bln worth of Russian capital and invested $3 bln in Russia, 6,000 joint enterprises have been formed, with cooperation being increased in almost all sectors of the economy," Putin said, adding that joint projects have been created in such areas as mining, machine building, shipbuilding, chemical industry and agriculture.

"Kazakhstan is Russia’s second-biggest partner in the CIS, which means there is still potential to move beyond," he added.

Putin has called for plotting out strategies to eliminate issues that negatively affect Russian-Kazakh trade cooperation. "We should respond to such issues and search for ways to get over them," Putin said.

Russia’s Head of state noted that the current Astana business forum may help to reach this goal. According to Putin, 900 people are participating in the forum including 400 Russian representatives. "This is a very large number," Putin added.

He also said that on Monday, while in the Russian city of Orenburg, he had met local businessmen who have worked closely with Kazakhstan.

"I was very glad to meet them because there are some issues that need to be solved but life goes on, it is developing very fast. There is mutual interest," the president stressed. He pointed out that Russian companies not only export their goods to the Central Asian country, but also import Kazakh goods, including high-technology ones.

The Russian leader emphasized the importance of logistics development that is the main topic of the current business-forum. "I am sure that all events planned for today will prove to be productive," Putin concluded. 

Kazakhstan’s Expo-2017

Russia will actively participate in the Expo-2017 exhibition in Kazakhstan’s capital of Astana, Vladimir Putin has announced. 

"I want to reassure you, President Nazarbayev, that Russia will take an active part in these major events, in this huge international exposition, moreover, Russia is ready to co-organize more than 100 events on the exhibition’s agenda," Putin said.

The Russian leader commended the great work that the Kazakh organizers had already done.