21 Jul 2022 10:55

Economic cooperation among Central Asian countries needed amid sanctions wars - Kazakh president

NUR-SULTAN. July 21 (Interfax) - Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev called on his partners in Central Asia to accelerate the development of economic cooperation amid sanctions wars.

"The threat of a looming global recession, largely provoked by the sanctions wars and growing protectionism, brings to the foreground the issue of accelerated development of regional economic cooperation," Tokayev said at a meeting between the leaders of the Central Asian countries in Cholpon-Ata on Thursday.

Central Asian economic cooperation can well become one of the key sources of growth for the national economies of the region, the president said.

"Bearing in mind the availability of huge reserves for increasing mutual trade, it is desirable to bring this indicator to $15 billion in the foreseeable perspective," Tokayev said.

Trade turnover between Kazakhstan and other Central Asian countries went up 42% in the past five years, reaching $6.3 billion, he said.

The tendency towards regionalization is becoming increasingly obvious amid the destruction of production and trade chains, the president said.

"It would be practically useful to take effective measures to launch a chain of border trade-economic hubs, which will serve as support points for the common commodity distribution system of the Central Asian countries with the prospect of its further expansion," Tokayev said.

In particular, international industrial cooperation center Central Asia Project is being implemented on the Kazakh-Uzbek border and there is an industrial trade-logistics facility on the Kazakh-Kyrgyz border. There is an agreement on the creation of wholesale distribution centers with Tajikistan, too, the Kazakh president said.

Kazakhstan also plans to build a grain terminal in collaboration with Turkmenistan, he said.

"These projects are in line with our common interests in increasing the volumes of mutual trade turnover, and also the export of products to the markets of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and other countries," Tokayev said.