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Over 1,600 participants and 25 agreements – results of the 16th Russia–Kazakhstan Interregional Cooperation Forum

8 November 2019
Более 1600 участников и 25 соглашений – подведены итоги XVI Форума межрегионального сотрудничества России и Казахстана

The 16th Russia—Kazakhstan Interregional Cooperation Forum focusing on Hot Topics on the Development of Cross-Border Cooperation, organised by the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation and the Roscongress Foundation, wrapped up on 7 November in Omsk.

«The Interregional Cooperation Forum has once again proved to be an effective platform for interactions between the governments and businesses of Russia and Kazakhstan. As has been repeatedly noted on the sidelines of the Forum, our two countries are inextricably linked, so it is extremely important for us to create a space where we could shape the direction for further development of relations aligned with the current global trends, and the political and economic goals of cooperation. The success of the Forum is evidenced both by the high ratings it received from participants on both sides, and by the agreements reached at this platform, which will further expand our multilateral cooperation,» said Anton Kobyakov, Adviser to the President of the Russian Federation.

Key outcomes

The Forum brought together 1,600 representatives from 24 Russian regions and 10 Kazakhstani regions — government ministers from both countries, governors, members of parliament, and CEOs of major companies, as well as experts and researchers. The event was covered by 333 members of the media, including 282 from Russia.

During the five sessions of the Forum’s business programme, participants discussed key aspects of cooperation between the two countries, including the development of cross-border trade, cooperation in industry and technology, promotion of non-commodity exports, women’s entrepreneurship, and digital transformation. A separate, side event of the Forum was the Russia—Kazakhstan Youth Forum, bringing together over 100 representatives of public organisations and NGOs from both countries.

Simultaneously with the main business programme of the Forum, the exhibition High-Tech: Opportunities in Kazakhstani and Russian Regions was held at the Kontinent Gallery, highlighting export opportunities of both countries. The exhibition gathered 42 Russian and 17 Kazakhstani businesses and organisations showcasing their latest advances in research and in manufacturing technology.

Agreement signings

Effective cooperative efforts within the Forum and an open dialogue between its participants led to signing of multiple major interregional and commercial agreements.

The following agreements were signed at the 16th Russia—Kazakhstan Interregional Cooperation Forum in the presence of the two heads of state:

· Maksim Oreshkin, Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation, and Ruslan Dalenov, Minister of National Economy of the Republic of Kazakhstan, signed the Concept of the «Russia—Kazakhstan» Cross-Border Cooperation Programme

· Vladimir Medinsky, Minister of Culture of the Russian Federation and Aktoty Raimkulova, Minister of Culture and Sport of the Republic of Kazakhstan, signed the Cooperation Programme between the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation and the Ministry of Culture and Sport of the Republic of Kazakhstan for 2020–2022

· Nikolay Zakhryapin, Deputy Minister of Transport of the Russian Federation, and Beibut Atamkulov, Minister of Industry and Infrastructure Development of the Republic of Kazakhstan, signed a Joint Action Programme between the Ministry of Transport of the Russian Federation and the Ministry of Industry and Infrastructure Development of the Republic of Kazakhstan on the operation of border crossings on the Russia—Kazakhstan state border

· Alexander Bugayev, Head of the Federal Agency for Youth Affairs (Russia) and Dauren Abayev, Minister of Information and Social Development of the Republic of Kazakhstan, signed a memorandum of understanding on youth policy between the Federal Agency for Youth Affairs and the Ministry of Information and Social Development

· Alexey Teksler, Governor of the Chelyabinsk Region, and Arkhimed Mukhambetov, Akim (Governor) of the Kostanay Region, signed an agreement between the Governments of the Chelyabinsk Region and Kostanay Region on trade, economic, R&D, social, cultural, and humanitarian cooperation

· Vadim Shumkov, Governor of the Kurgan Region, and Bulat Bakauov, Akim (Governor) of the Pavlodar Region, signed an agreement between the Governments of the Kurgan Region and Pavlodar Region on trade, economic, R&D, humanitarian, and other cooperation

· Andrey Travnikov, Governor of the Novosibirsk Region, and Bulat Bakauov, Akim (Governor) of the Pavlodar Region, signed the 2019–2021 Action Plan to implement the agreement between the Governments of the Novosibirsk Region and Pavlodar Region on trade, economic, social, R&D, and cultural cooperation

· Dmitry Golovanov, Chairman of the Board at JSC Russian Bank for Small and Medium Enterprises Support (SME Bank), and Gaukhar Buribayeva, Chairwoman of the «Damu» Entrepreneurship Development Fund signed a cooperation agreement between SME Bank and the Damu Fund

Also during the Forum, the Government of the Omsk Region signed a cooperation agreement with Vimpelcom and Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO). An agreement was signed between the Ministry of Industry, Communications, Digital, Science and Technology Development of the Omsk Region (Russian Federation) and the Department of Entrepreneurship and Industry of the Akmola Region (Republic of Kazakhstan). In addition, 14 agreements were signed between businesses and NGOs from Russia and Kazakhstan.

A total of 25 documents were signed at the Forum.

Side events

A number of significant events were held in Omsk during the days of the Forum. One such major event was the official opening of the Avangard Ice Hockey Academy, which has two ice arenas, eight gyms, and a dormitory for out-of-town students. During the opening ceremony, the Forum guests were also shown a model of the new Omsk Arena sports and concert complex, seating 12,000 people and slated to become a venue for the 2023 IIHF World Junior Championship. During the days of the Forum, the Hermitage Siberia museum centre was also opened in Omsk, the first branch of the State Hermitage Museum beyond the Urals.

Plenary session

The highlight of the second day of the Forum was its plenary session, which was attended by Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and Kazakhstan’s President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev. The heads of ministries and agencies, regional governors and business leaders from both countries took part in the discussions at the plenary session. Participants of the plenary session discussed new trade and investment projects and made proposals for further expansion of interregional cooperation.

Vladimir Putin noted that Russia—Kazakhstan regional forums always bring good practical results and that Russia is the largest investor in Kazakhstan’s economy, with accumulated Russian investment in Kazakhstan amounting to USD 13 billion, and Kazakhstan in Russia almost USD 4 billion. Over 6,500 joint ventures operate in our countries, including major projects such as the construction of an oil refinery in the Orenburg Region, to be supplied with feedstock from Kazakhstan’s Karachaganak field, and the development of the Vesenne-Aralchinskoye copper deposit lying on the border between the two countries.

Cooperation between the two countries is not limited to business: Vladimir Putin highlighted the fact that about 74,000 citizens of Kazakhstan study at Russian universities, including more than 30,000 that receive grants from the Russian budget. The Russian President made a specific mention of the cross-border cooperation programme for Kazakhstan and Russia. «It is important for the regional authorities in our countries and the federal agencies to actively join the effort to fill this programme with specific projects, ideas and initiatives,» said Vladimir Putin. The Russian leader also emphasised the potential to step up joint efforts in protecting the environment and the need to develop joint programmes in tourism.

In response, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev thanked the Russian side for its hospitality and noted that joint ventures with Russian businesses account for 38% of the total number of companies with foreign capital in Kazakhstan. Russian companies actively participate in the development and transportation of mineral resources, as well as in petrochemical projects. He mentioned activities within the framework of the Eurasian Economic Union, cooperation in the Caspian Basin, as well as partnerships in agriculture, industry, and joint entry to third-country markets as important areas of cooperation. «Most importantly, the Forum has gained more rather than less relevance as an effective tool to strengthen and expand our cross-border, interregional cooperation,» said Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, proposing to choose Environmental and Green Growth Cooperation as the main theme of the next interregional forum and hold it in Kazakhstan, in Kokshetau, Akmola Region.

The 16th Russia—Kazakhstan Interregional Cooperation Forum took place in Omsk on 6–7 November 2019. The event’s image gallery is available at: