The main task is the optimal conjugation of "Nurly Zhol" and "Economic belt of the Silk Road"

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The main task is the optimal conjugation of "Nurly Zhol" and "Economic belt of the Silk Road" 26.05.2017 13:58

 

- The project of the "Economic belt of the Silk Road" causes a growing interest in the world. Through Kazakhstan, a large segment of this route must pass. What effect do you see for the Kazakh economy from the implementation of this project?

- The economic belt of the Silk Road is part of the initiative of the Government of the PRC "One belt, one way", which aims to develop multilateral regional cooperation on land and at sea. The governments of the two countries - the Republic of Kazakhstan and the People's Republic of China on September 2 last year, in Hangzhou, signed the Cooperation Plan on the interface of the New Economic Policy "Nurly Jol" and the construction of the "Economic belt of the Silk Road".

Priorities for cooperation within the framework of the Cooperation Plan are indicated: development of transport infrastructure, manufacturing industry, trade, etc. In particular, there are plans to create transport corridors "China - Kazakhstan - West Asia", "China - Kazakhstan - Russia - Western Europe" and " China-Kazakhstan-South Caucasus / Turkey-Europe" to improve transport infrastructure along the route from the north-western edge to the southeast coast of China. In addition, the Plan recorded the establishment of terminal facilities in the international logistics zone of Lianyungang Port, the construction of the Land Terminal at Incheburun Station and the terminal at the port of Bander Abbas.The participation of Chinese enterprises on the territory of special economic zones "National Industrial Petrochemical Technopark" in Atyrau region, "Khorgos-East Gate" in Almaty region is envisaged.

China has identified three main routes: from China - through Central Asia, Russia - to Europe (to the Baltic Sea); From China - through Central Asia, West Asia - to the Persian Gulf, the Mediterranean Sea; From China - to Southeast Asia, South Asia - to the Indian Ocean. It should be noted that the first and the second direction of the initiative of the "Economic belt of the Silk Road" complement the new economic policy of the Head of State N. Nazarbayev "Nurly Jol", where special attention is paid to the development of transport and logistics infrastructure. In the framework of the new economic policy of "Nurly Jol", 16 projects of the transport and logistics sector are being implemented, of which 11 are directed to the construction and reconstruction of highways.

One of the breakthrough road projects is the creation of an international transport corridor "Western Europe - Western China", which will be the shortest road route to Europe, with a transportation period of 10-12 days.

Projects "Center-South", "Center-West", "Center-East" are also being implemented, within the framework of the projects it is planned to cover the reconstruction of about 4,700 km of roads.

As the freight traffic on the railway transport will grow, modernization of the second tracks on the section Almaty-Shu is carried out. The construction of the second tracks will increase the capacity on the Shu-Almaty section and increase the transportation of transit goods on the direction of China - the countries of Europe, Asia and the Persian Gulf and back. The planned volume of cargo handling by 2020 will be 4.4 million tons per year.

The construction of a ferry complex in the port "Kuryk" with a capacity of 4 million tons is underway. In December 2016 the first launch complex was launched, we are waiting for the full completion of the project this year; it will allow to increase the total throughput capacity of Kazakhstan's seaports to 23.5 million tons. In the border area with China, on the basis of the FEZ "Khorgos - Eastern Gate", the construction of a "dry port" and infrastructure was completed.

The effect of these projects will increase the volume of transit cargo coming from China to Europe through Kazakhstan from 16.3 to 18.1 million tons. The implementation of the project "Economic belt of the Silk Road" opens new opportunities for increasing the export-import potential of the two countries, developing the manufacturing industry, contributing to the deepening of trade, economic and transport-logistical ties.

- What is the specific of Kazakhstan's actions in this project?

- To begin with, it is worth remembering that the Chinese initiative "Economic belt of the Silk Road" was first announced by the Chairman of the People's Republic of China Xi Jinping in Astana, September 16, 2013, during the lecture of the Nazarbayev University.

Further dynamics is this: December 14, 2014, in Astana, the Minister of National Economy of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Chairman of the State Committee for Development and Reforms of the People's Republic of China signed an inter-agency Memorandum of Understanding on joint promotion of the creation of the "Economic belt of the Silk Road". The purpose of the Memorandum was joint cooperation to develop and strengthen interregional contacts and deepen economic activities related to transport, trade, tourism, investment and other areas of cooperation along the ESPN zone.

The work on conjugation of the National Program "Nurly Zhol" and the Chinese initiative "Economic belt of the Silk Road" was launched after the adoption of the Joint Declaration of the Heads of State of Kazakhstan and China of August 31, 2015 and the Joint Declaration of the Heads of Government of December 14, 2015. Then, in September 2016, a cooperation plan was signed to link the New Economic Policy "Nurly Zhol" and the construction of the "Economic belt of the Silk Road" between the governments of the Republic of Kazakhstan of the People's Republic of China.

To date, we have drafted and sent to the Chinese side for approval the draft Roadmap for the implementation of the Cooperation Plan for the integration of the two programs in different sectors of the economy. In addition, we from the very beginning supported the initiative of China to establish the Asian Bank for Infrastructure Investments, whose work is aimed at providing institutional support for the strategy for the revival of the Silk Road. Kazakhstan, being a co-founder of this international financial institution, took an active part in its development. The structure of ABIA already includes 57 states, including Kazakhstan. The authorized capital of ABIA is about $100 billion.

Pulling out the concept of EPS, China together with the countries concerned created the Silk Road Fund and the New BRICS Development Bank. These institutions have considerable capital, for example, the assets of the Silk Road Fund are $ 40 billion. These funds will create a foundation for providing a reliable infrastructure on the continent. DMEI, DRVD

- Please, comment on the discussed "conjugation" of the project "Economic belt of the Silk Road" with the activities of the Eurasian Economic Union?

- The project of the "Economic belt of the Silk Road" received wide support in the Eurasian space. The decision on conjugation of the Eurasian Economic Union and the Economic belt of the Silk Road was adopted on May 8, 2015 in Moscow by the heads of the EEC member states.

The conjugation of the formation of the Eurasian Economic Union and the Economic belt of the Silk Road will open new prospects for cooperation in various fields between the countries of the Eurasian Economic Community and China, between Europe and Asia. It is planned that through the Economic belt of the Silk Road a new "Eurasian bridge" will be created, economic corridors "China-Mongolia-Russia", "China-Central Asia-West Asia" and "China-Indochina" will develop. So, the "interfacing" initiative is an important element of multilateral trade and economic cooperation covering all the countries of the Eurasian Economic Community and the SCO.

Member States of EES recognized the advisability of promoting a comprehensive initiative to link the projects of the EEC and EWSR. Now work is under way to identify priorities and areas of interaction in the framework of interface, as well as to prepare a roadmap for cooperation with the PRC. For Kazakhstan, the energy, transport and telecommunications spheres are most interesting for cooperation.

The basis for the interconnection of the Eurasian Economic Community and the EEAS is the developed agreement on trade and economic cooperation between the Eurasian Economic Community and the People's Republic of China. In my opinion, the conclusion of such an agreement will allow the member countries of the EES to enter a higher level of trade and economic relations with China and will contribute to the strengthening of mutually beneficial cooperation in many spheres of the economy. This agreement should become the main instrument of economic interaction between the EEC and China, while effectively complementing cooperation and existing relations at the bilateral level.

In September 2015, within the framework of the official visit of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan N. Nazarbayev to China, the heads of state of the two countries signed the Joint Declaration on a new stage of relations of a comprehensive strategic partnership. The document laid the beginning of joint development of cooperation in combining the New Economic Policy of Kazakhstan "Nurly Zhol" and the "Economic belt of the Silk Road".

To successfully connect the Kazakh and Chinese initiatives, such steps as the operation of a logistics terminal in the port of Lianyungang have been already taken (250,000 containers are passing through it, and in the near future it is planned to double the volumes), the construction of the Western Europe-Western China highway, Center "Khorgos" and others.

Speaking about the project "Western Europe - Western China", it is worth noting its importance, both for Kazakhstan and for the region as a whole. It is expected that the results of the project will significantly reduce the distance and the time of transportation of goods from China to Europe. Travel time along the corridor "Western Europe - Western China" will be about 10 days. For comparison: "Transib" takes 14 days, and the way through the sea corridor - 45.

It is expected that by the end of the project, the volume of traffic along this international corridor will be about 34 million tons of cargo. The constructed roads will increase the capacity of cars by 1.5 times, transport and transit traffic will be doubled, the time spent on the way will be reduced by 1.5 times.

I am confident that the combination of the EEC countries with the EEPS project will allow our states to reach a higher level of trade and economic relations, increase the level of investment attractiveness and facilitate trade facilitation throughout the Eurasian area.

Kazakhstan, being an active supporter of integration processes, intends to continue supporting initiatives on conjugation with EEPS, aimed at intensification of mutually beneficial trade and economic cooperation. Together we can more confidently confront the crisis phenomena in the world economy; it is easier to overcome all kinds of barriers.