Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Refutes and Explains

The information Internet portal Zakon.kz  held an online-conference with the Prime Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan Karim Masimov.

Replying the question regarding Chinese investments, Chinese companies and interrelations with China in general, as well as regarding gossips on transfer a part of Kazakhstani lands into China’s rent, the Prime Minister Masimov said:

This subject is pretty often discussed and politicized and maybe it’s even beneficial for someone to politicize it to create agiotage around this issue. With all responsibility I declare: Kazakhstan is an independent state with its national interests, with the interests of national business. Are we able to exist out of the context of world economy? I can definitely state no. That is why we should lead a multi-vector policy to attract investments. I’d like to say the following. The biggest investor in Kazakhstan is a US company. The biggest trade partner of Kazakhstan is the European Union. China is also takes a significant place.

In this process we should balance first of all, go through the prism of interrelations with Kazakhstani business according to the existing norms of the World Trade Organization, Customs Union and so on.

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With all responsibility I declare that there is no secret program not known to people, as well as there is no program to transfer of lands to Chinese companies. As it is illegal. According to our legislation only a citizen of Kazakhstan can own the land and it is a principle line that shall not be changed. I have repeatedly said that and confirm this once again. As we live in a competitive environment each person has the right to declare his/her point of view. The Internet is a free space at all. Taking the opportunity I would like to say that it was my principle to come to the Internet, as the Internet is not controlled or regulated. And this is its advantage.

As within competitive environment there is not only possibility to express something… Internet can present your idea, and each person has an opportunity to judge and take a corresponding decision.

In his replies Masimov also touched upon the subject of participation of Kazakhstan in the Customs Union with Russia and Belarus

According to his words the Customs Union is beneficial for Kazakhstani business. ”Kazakhstani economy is relatively small, and in order to lead a complete industrialization, to attract foreign investments into non raw-materials sectors, we need a big market, buyers. In our case the buyers are the Russian Federation and Belarus, together it is quite a nice market” – said K. Masimov.

The Customs Union in general is a long play and here today as in any other business there are benefits and disadvantages. The benefits of the Customs Union dominate absolutely over the disadvantages.

With no doubt, there are problems in some spheres. When you get something, you should give something. The Russian Federation has absolutely opposite point of view. They say: why do we give everything to Kazakhstani people. Taxes are lower there. Business is at a lower level.

The head of the state by considering the program on industrial development, also adopted the project on car construction industry development. We have Korean cars in Kostanay, Ust-Kamenogorsk, maybe there will be some more.

If there were be no protection of the Customs Union for car industry, these plants would never exist. I think that car industry is a significant issue. Recently they have signed a treaty on development of helicopter construction together with French company, European company  “Eurocopter”. And the kind of big industrial projects would be impossible without the Customs Union development.

I underline once again that industrialization of any country is a key matter of its sovereignty and independence. We should subordinate all other issues for the industrial entities highly technological, competitive industrial entities to be established in our country.

Russian car industry exists and produces its goods, and naturally, shall compete with us. Should we set something opposite forth? The only thing is to create for investors more favorable conditions, for them to be beneficial to come to Kazakhstan, to develop our car industry and conquer Russian market. At the same time the “issue on single currency within the frameworks of the Customs Union doesn’t exist. National bank of Kazakhstan is an individual one, and the currency in Kazakhstan shall remain ours, national”, said K. Masimov. Kazakhstan at the moment is at the final stage of the entrance into the World Trade Organization, reported the Prime Minister. “From the very establishment of the Customs Union all 3 Parties agreed, that all the principles of the CU should accord to the WTO norms”.
If there are some disagreements between new WTO and CU, than probably the WTO dominates over the CU norm. This way we escaped of the issue, for the WTO to consider all these dozens, hundreds of treaties and agreements, existing inside the WTO. I’d like to repeat initially that the negotiations expert group acts for this task. Now all states including also Kazakhstan to this or that extent is at the final stage of the entrance into the WTO” – declared K. Masimov.

I think that our compatibility and we see the problems for example of the European Union in some states are caused by the fact that all decisions were not completely analyzed and adopted.

I think that this is an important, elaborated, issue that allows for Kazakhstani business, people of Kazakhstan to gain more fruits from our independence. This is the line of our President, who has said starting from 1994 when addressed with a lecture in MSU. To a greater extent this issue is strongly politicized, interpreted in a wrong way, and we should clearly and strictly explain our line. Can we close ourselves from the rest of the world and develop fully? No. No state in the world is able to do that.  Should we be a part of the world and involve more trade integration processes? The next step is our entrance into the World Trade Organization, and even more ambitious tasks which the President has set, is to get closer to the standards of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. This is a step that we shall make together with the states of the Customs Union, and we are well prepared for such movement.

Translated by EuroDialogueXXI from Zakon.kz