|Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan Eliminate Customs Controls at Border
Customs controls at the border between Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan were eliminated with an Aug. 12 ceremony at the Kordai (Kazakhstan) and Ak-Zhol (Kyrgyzstan) customs posts attended by President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev and President Kyrgyzstan Almazbek Atambayev, the press service of the Akorda reported. On Aug. 12, Kyrgyzstan’s accession into the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) took legal force.
Through a live video link, the two heads of state witnessed the removal of customs checkpoints between the neighbouring countries. First Deputy Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Bakytzhan Sagintayev and Prime Minister of Kyrgyzstan Temir Sariyev also attended the ceremony.
The removal of customs control is one of the key components of the Treaty on the EAEU, which emphasises the freedom of movement of goods, services, capital and workforce within the union, which now includes Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Russia.
During the ceremony, Nazarbayev stressed the importance of integrating Kyrgyzstan into the EAEU, underlining that Kyrgyzstan’s accession is also in Kazakhstan’s interest and will further expand economic cooperation between the two countries.
“The removal of the customs border between the two countries is very significant. It will create new business opportunities for the two states and revive mutual trade. Fulfilling the agreements that were reached in the framework of the EAEU, we will be moving forward in creating a single economic space. I am sure that we will see real, positive results,” Nazarbayev said.
Kazakhstan’s President also noted that, despite challenges across global markets, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan are continuing to successfully develop trade and economic cooperation. As of today, Kazakhstan has invested more than $1.5 billion in the development of different sectors of Kyrgyzstan, he said, and created 50 joint ventures with their southern neighbours.
In his remarks, Atambayev expressed confidence that working together within the EAEU would further strengthen bilateral relations between the two countries. He also commented that eventually, the two brotherly nations should not be separated by any border.
“Today is a significant event for the residents of the Issyk-Kul region,” he said. “President Nazarbayev supported the idea of building a short road from Almaty that will halve the distance [between the Kazakh city and the Kyrgyz holiday area],” the president of Kyrgyzstan said, the media reports said.
Kyrgyzstan’s accession to the regional union follows hard work to support integration, a Eurasian Economic Commission press release on the accession explained. The road map to EAEU accession undertaken in 2014 contributed to the country’s economy, the commission said, and issues related to modernising customs infrastructure have been resolved. The other member states of the EAEU each ratified their agreements on Kyrgyzstan’s accession this summer.
The Supreme Eurasian Economic Council signed the Treaty on the Accession of the Kyrgyz Republic to the EAEU on Dec. 23, 2014. During the following May, the leaders of the member states signed two protocols defining the conditions for Kyrgyzstan’s entry.
Joining the EAEU is intended to expand Kyrgyzstan’s prospects for economic development by removing barriers to accessing external trade, services, capital and labour and opening up new investment opportunities and possibilities for launching large infrastructure projects. In addition, Kyrgyzstan’s citizens are entitled to work in any country of the union under the same conditions as citizens of the state, the press release informed.
After the ceremony, Nazarbayev and Atambayev discussed current bilateral relations, including work in developing investment, industry, road construction, tourism and other sectors, in a bilateral meeting at the Ruh Ordo Cultural Centre in Cholpan-Ata, Kyrgyzstan, according to the Kazinform news agency. They also discussed regional security and international issues, and Nazarbayev congratulated Atambayev on Kyrgyzstan’s development under his leadership.