- Three years ago we conducted a strategic assessment of what has already been done and what still needs to be done to further Eurasian economic integration. We defined a list of strategic directions and specific actions to be completed by 2025. The magnitude of the EAEU’s geography means that infrastructural connectivity leads the priorities list.
- Increased connectivity has been developed through the Intra-Union and Extra-Union dimensions. Intra-Union connectivity has been conducted through expanding transport and communications integration between member-states. Extra-Union connectivity has developed in line with international demands, as well as through co- operation with third countries in transport and logistics.
On the “New Global Logistics”:
- The global map of commodity flows has been dramatically changed; creating a growing demand for new supply chains to be established throughout the region. One of them starts in the East with the mega- regional Belt and Road project by China to strategically expand continental connectivity.
- The demand for trade and economic connectivity has increased manifold along the North-South Corridor, and our region finds itself at the center of this growing demand. The last year’s developments have confirmed the growing importance of the North-South transport corridor, which is becoming a key element of the “new global logistics.”
- In other words, this North-South vertical corridor is perfectly aligning with the horizontal corridor known as the "Trans-Caspian International Transport Route". It is exactly why we are promoting synergy in the coordinated and structural development of both of these routes.
- This synergy is the key to economic, industrial, transport-transition growth. The alignment of the two corridors can boost interaction and further cooperation within the greater Eurasian continent.
- I consider it essential to build connectivity with the Union’s key political and economic partner –the People's Republic of China. China is both the biggest supplier to the Union as well as the largest customer of products produced within the Union.
- Last week, with China, we have launched the construction of Kazakhstan’s logistics center in the dry port of Xi'an. We expect this port to become a container hub for trains heading to Central Asia, Europe, Turkey and Iran.
- We have plans to launch the Bakhty-Ayagoz railway connection by building a new border crossing point between Kazakhstan and China. We hope to secure partnership with Russia in this project, which will significantly reduce the transit time to China for goods not only from Kazakhstan, but also from the Western Siberia.
- The hard infrastructure development should be empowered by soft infrastructure, with further digitalization and customs red-tape relief. Objectively, we are framing a new transit-transport network across the Eurasia, which has never existed before.
- Comprehensive and coordinated actions by all parties involved should bring tangible economic and political results. However, such actions should be conducted in the environment of increased international cooperation from the region and outside. Therefore, active engagement with China, India, Vietnam, Iran, Egypt, Israel, Serbia and other partners will demonstrate maturity within the Union, as well as trade and economic attractiveness.
On EAEU's new priorities:
- While planning a business, it is important to consider existing challenges and engage opportunities to plan for the future. All ongoing changes around the business should receive serious consideration and proper engagement.
- Any business should be anchored. The stronger the anchor, the stronger and more durable the business. And what is the anchor for our Union? It is its Treaty and the full implementation of Treaty- related commitments. By this, I mean commitments that are framed in the concept of “four freedoms” that include 1) equal access to infrastructure; 2) fair competition; 3) equal rights; and 4) considerations of national interest. These freedoms must be exhaustedly ensured.
- I won’t list all the stitches on the fabric of in-Union-transit and trade, among which include mutual barriers and restriction, rather I wish to stress the necessity of creating a seamless market environment within the Union.
- Other commitments and declared goals have not yet been achieved and its number is quite significant. Therefore, we have to ensure that all of our commitments are implemented, and every goal is achieved before setting even more ambitious goals.
On within-the-EAEU process:
- Integration for the purpose of integration is not the main goal. Integration is one of the means to promote economic development and welfare of people that the member-states represent. Therefore, the EAEU’s success should not be measured by the number of strategies, agreements or decisions, but rather by the emergence of new industries, development of new technologies, and creation of new jobs.
- For Kazakhstan, the integration within the EAEU is about economy as stated in the Union Agreement dated back in 2015.
- The most important goal for the EAEU member-states is to find a common denominator for national formulas of economic, industrial and trade-related policies. It is an ambitious goal that requires experience, intelligence, discipline, diplomatic skills, and, crucially, a constructive approach to consideration interests of others.
On EAEU's multilevel integration: