By Kamila Aliyeva
The volume of foreign trade turnover of Kazakhstan in January-February 2018 in monetary terms amounted to $13.3 billion, which is 23.5 percent more than the figure in the corresponding month of 2017, the Committee on Statistics of the Kazakh National Economy Ministry reported.
The volume of exports in the reporting period amounted to $8.8 billion, thus showing an increase of 27.4 percent compared to January-February 2017.
At the same time, the imports made $4.5 billion, which is 16.6 percent more than in the first two months of the previous year.
Meanwhile, the volume of cargo turnover in January-March 2018 amounted to 136.56 billion ton-kilometers, which is 9.1 percent more than in the same period in 2017.
In the first quarter of the year, the volume of cargo transportation amounted to 847.789 million tons (an increase of 4.3 percent compared to January-March of the previous year).
The passenger turnover reached 65.545 billion passenger-kilometers, this showing a growth of 4.5 percent. During the reporting period, 5.417 billion passengers (+ 0.9 percent) were transported.
Kazakhstan is the 48th most complex economy according to the Economic Complexity Index (ECI).
The country has an export-oriented economy which is highly dependent on shipments of oil and related products (73 percent of total exports). Other exports include ferrous metals, copper, aluminum, zinc and uranium.
Main imports are electronics, machinery and mechanical appliances (25 percent of total imports), mineral products (15 percent), transport equipment (12 percent) and base metals and related products (10 percent).
Kazakhstan became a World Trade Organization (WTO) member on November 30, 2015.
The country officially entered into a Customs Union with Russia and Belarus on July 1, 2010. Since that time, Kazakhstan’s trade policy has been heavily influenced by regulations promulgated by the Customs Union and its governing body the Eurasian Economic Commission.
As a condition of membership in the Customs Union, Kazakhstan had to double its average import tariff and introduced annual tariff-rate quotas (TRQs) on trade apoultry, beef, and pork.
However, in accordance with its WTO commitments, Kazakhstan will now gradually lower 3,512 import tariff rates to an average of 6.1 percent by 2020. Starting from January 2016, Kazakhstan has applied a lower-than-Customs Union Tariff rate to food products, automobiles, airplanes, railway wagons, lumber, alcoholic beverages, pharmaceuticals, freezers, and jewelry.
On May 29, 2014 Kazakhstan and its Customs Union partners signed a treaty to create a common economic space known as the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU). The EAEU is expected to further integrate their economies, and provide for the free movement of services, capital and labor within their common territory. The government of Kazakhstan has asserted that EAEU agreements comply with WTO standards.
Kazakhstan’s government is optimistic that further integration within the EAEU will make Kazakhstan more attractive for foreign investment by expanding market access to those countries.
Kazakhstan is a signatory of the Free Trade Agreement with CIS countries. In addition, as a member of the EAEU, Kazakhstan is party to the Free Trade Agreement between the EAEU and Vietnam.
Kamila Aliyeva is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Kami_Aliyeva
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