Government • 10 October, 2017

Sagintayev replied Atambaev’s criticism concerning Kazakhstan

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On October 7, the President of Kyrgyzstan Almazbek Atambayev gave a speech in which he reviled certain aspects of Kazakhstan’s social and economic development. The speech evoked hot disputes in both Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. Everyone was waiting for the reaction of Kazakh rulers. Finally, Prime-Minister Bakytzhan Sagintayev made a long statement expressing the official position of Kazakhstan to the situation. Here we decided to share the statement.

“Confirming my commitment to the development of bilateral relations with the Kyrgyz Republic, I am sure that the irresponsible, provocative and false statements of the Kyrgyz President, which made for election purposes, will not harm the centuries-old ties of friendship and mutual assistance between our countries.

In this connection, I decided to inform the Kyrgyz public about the real economic development of Kazakhstan.

During the independence years, our economy has grown 20 times. In 2012, Kazakhstan joined top-50 most competitive economies in the world.

A strong national business has been established in the country. In the World Bank’s “Doing Business” ranking Kazakhstan holds 35th place. To date, 1.3 million entrepreneurial structures produce ¼ of total national wealth.

Under the State program of industrial-innovative Development, we built more than one thousand new production facilities over the last ten years. These include the production of cars, locomotives, wagons, helicopters and many others. We managed to produce 500 new products, which have never been made in our country before.

The transport infrastructure of Kazakhstan is also modernizing. For 25 years, more than 10 thousand km of roads was build and reconstructed. In the near future, the roads network with a length of more than 8,000 km will be also modernized.

We completed constructing the Kazakh section of the transcontinental road corridor "Western Europe-Western China" with a length of 2800 km. We also built more than 2.5 thousand km of new railways.

In addition, we modernized the Aktau seaport’s infrastructure and built a new “Kuryk” marine ferry port. The total capacity of seaports in the Caspian Sea increased to 26 million tons. Every year we are giving a start to new airports and railway stations.

During the independence years, Kazakhstan built 120 million square meters of housing and provided more than 1.1 million Kazakhstani families with apartments.

For only 8 months of 2017 under the "Nurly Zher" State Program, 6.9 million square meters of new housing passed into operation. Among them, we built 18.3 thousand individual houses. More than 61 thousand families improved their living conditions.

Housing construction is actively developing. This year, 10.1 million square meters of new housing will turn into operation.

The country is actively developing social infrastructure. We built over 1,300 new hospitals and polyclinics, 500 new kindergartens and 1,400 schools.

Under the “Bolashak” program initiated by the President Nazarbayev, more than 12,500 young people educated at 200 world’s best universities in 35 countries. Every year we create 270 thousand new jobs in average.

Over the past 15 years, the average salary and pension increased by more than 10 times. According to the International Association of Pension and Social Funds, the minimum and average pensions in Kazakhstan are higher than in Kyrgyzstan by 5 and 3 times respectively.

The average life expectancy in our country increased to 72.3 years.

If we talk about tariffs for services, I would like to note that Kazakhstan is implementing a new model aimed to update and modernize fixed assets, which takes into account the interests of subjects of natural monopolies and consumers. At the same time, it is obvious that the tariffs for electricity generated by hydroelectric power stations are lower than the tariffs for electricity received using fossil energy sources.

In order to implement the strategic vision of President Nazarbayev, we created a new capital – Astana. Over $50 billion was invested to the capital’s development. To date, the population of Astana exceeded 1 million citizens.

This year Astana held International Specialized Exhibition EXPO-2017 which dedicated to future energy. We became the first country among CIS members to hold the EXPO. More than 115 states and 22 international organizations took part in the international fair and 4 million tourists visited it.

Due to the economic strength of the state, stability and favorable investment climate, the largest transnational corporations work in all sectors of the Kazakhstan’s economy. The total volume of foreign direct investments for the years of independence reached $265 billion.

In 2000, President Nazarbayev established the National Fund of Kazakhstan. To date, the total volume of the National Fund and the international reserves of Kazakhstan is about $91 billion. Sustainable economic development and progressive growth of the country's GDP allows Kazakhstan to provide all kinds of assistance to partner countries.

Our country pursues a consistent policy of strengthening fraternal and neighborly relations with the Kyrgyz Republic under the Treaty of Eternal Friendship from April 8, 1997, and the Treaty of Alliance from December 25, 2003.

All these years, Kazakhstan has always been close to the Kyrgyz people. Especially in difficult times was sympathetic to the requests of the Kyrgyzstan leadership, maximally assisted in resolving social and economic problems and provided significant humanitarian assistance, including energy supplies, food and other socially important provision.

Within the framework of Kyrgyzstan's accession to the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), the President of Kazakhstan decided to provide technical assistance for $100 million. Currently, the Parliament of Kazakhstan ratified the Agreement of technical assistance.

More than $20 million allocated for humanitarian assistance to Kyrgyzstan; two general education schools in Bishkek and Osh were built.

The volume of Kazakh investments to the Kyrgyzstan economy amounted to $820 million. Thanks to this, thousands of Kyrgyz citizens are provided with jobs.

The volume of investments could be more, but its growth restrained by the unfavorable investment climate to Kazakh entrepreneurs.

Today 125 thousand labor migrants from Kyrgyzstan lives in Kazakhstan. At the same time, they have social and medical guarantees from our state.

Thanks to the position of Nursultan Nazarbayev, the share of Kyrgyzstan in the distribution of revenues from import customs duties between the budgets of the member states of the EEU is 1.9%. This has resulted in sharp increase in revenues to the budget of the Kyrgyz Republic since joining the EEU.

Income in 2016 amounted to $187.4 million, which exceeds the indicators of Kyrgyzstan before joining the EEU more than 3 times.

In accordance with the Agreement between Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan on the application of the procedure for regulating access to rail transport services, including the basics of tariff policy, the Kyrgyz Republic applies a unified railway tariff from January 10, 2017, which is 8 months earlier than stipulated in the Agreement on Accession of the Kyrgyz Republic. For the period of early application of the tariff, Kazakhstan's direct losses amounted to about $49 million, which is correspondingly a benefit for the economy of Kyrgyzstan.

Moreover, the Kyrgyz side made commitments to bring the sanitary, veterinary and phytosanitary systems in line with the requirements of the EEU. However, these requirements have not been implemented yet. This carries risks for the Kazakh market and the integration association, as a whole. Despite this, the Kazakh side adopted a set of measures aimed at facilitating the access of Kyrgyz agricultural products to the Kazakh market and its transit through the territory of Kazakhstan.

The list of goods transported from Kyrgyzstan to Russia through Kazakhstan territory expanded considerably – up to 100 groups of goods.

The $100 million assistance we provided is planned to equip Veterinary and phytosanitary quarantine posts, quarantine and veterinary laboratories, the center for registration and certification of veterinary drugs.

The customs authorities of the Kazakhstan record a sharp increase in imports of Chinese goods to the Kyrgyz Republic and a proportional increase in the import of similar goods from the Kyrgyzstan to our country. Nevertheless, the Kazakh side does not apply any restrictive measures to Kyrgyzstan.

Kazakhstan fully ensure obliged commitments about free movement of Kyrgyz goods, despite the available facts of re-export of Chinese goods. The alleged losses of the EEU member states are about $100 million, and Kazakhstan's loss on VAT is $155.8 million.

Moreover, we do not apply export customs duties on a number of goods, important for Kyrgyzstan, despite the fact that we are aware of the re-export facts from the territory of Kyrgyzstan (oil and oil products, scraps of ferrous and non-ferrous metals, animal skins and wool, etc.).

All of the above is a far from complete list of bilateral relations aspects between our countries.

In conclusion, despite the repeated speculations of Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev, the Government of Kazakhstan intends to expand the Kazakh-Kyrgyz strategic partnership and cooperation."

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