TOKAYEV PROPOSED TO INTRODUCE SINGLE VISA REGIME FOR CIS COUNTRIES
President of Kazakhstan Kassym Jomart Tokayev took part in a meeting of Council of CIS Heads of State, held in Ashgabat. The event was also attended by the Presidents of Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, the press service of Akorda reports.
During the meeting, the sides exchanged views on multifaceted cooperation within the CIS framework. The issues on chairmanship in the CIS in 2020 and on the chairman of the CIS Executive Committee were also considered.
In his speech, the Head of State presented a comprehensive vision of the further development of the Commonwealth of Independent States.
The President considers the CIS to be an authoritative international organization that has allowed to maintain and strengthen political, economic and humanitarian ties between the countries of the Commonwealth.
At the same time, Kassym Jomart Tokayev noted that the world has entered an era of tension and uncertainty, the architecture of international relations is shaken due to a crisis of confidence, the turbulence of the world economy leads to the outflow of capital from developing countries. Against this background, according to the Head of State, approaches to regional integration are changing, and many integration models, which previously seemed unshakable, are tested for strength.
Our Commonwealth also has to go through a difficult but extremely necessary process of adaptation to changing realities. On the initiative of Nursultan Abishevich Nazarbayev, we started the process of structural modernization of the CIS. In 2017, work began on updating the Concept of Further Development and the Strategy for Economic Development of the Commonwealth. I intend to continue this work, the President emphasized.
The Head of State called the development of trade and economic cooperation one of the primary tasks of the CIS.
Creation of the CIS Free Trade Zone in 2011 improved the conditions for the exchange of goods between our countries. However, further expansion of trade cooperation requires continued work to reduce existing barriers. We need new growth points that would give a new impetus to economic cooperation within the Commonwealth, Kassym Jomart Tokayev believed.
In this context, the President identified a number of promising areas for collaboration, including digital technology, e commerce, free trade in services, and tourism.
The rapid development of digital technology is changing the landscape of the life of States. All CIS countries work to digitalize the economy. The exchange of experience and knowledge is important to obtain a synergistic effect, as well as the joint efforts within the Commonwealth. In this regard, I propose to regularly conduct special CIS forums on modern technologies. Similar measures are already being tested within the framework of the Eurasian Economic Union, the Head of State said.
Speaking about the increased importance of e commerce in the world, Kassym Jomart Tokayev cited the following figures. In 2018, global e commerce reached $ 1.8 trillion, accounting for 11.5% of retail turnover. According to experts, in 5 years this figure will rise to $ 2.8 trillion. The President proposed the development of a regulatory document that could provide conditions for the development of electronic commerce within the Commonwealth, whose share in the global volume today is only 1%.
The Head of State also stressed the huge potential in tourism interaction as the sector brings greater dividends to many countries, according to Kassym Jomart Tokayev.
Each country of the CIS has its own recreational, natural and landscape, historic sites, which deserve to be among the most attractive tourist directions of the world, the President said.
Speaking of the issues related to the discrepancies in visa and migration rules, the Head of State proposed to consider introducing a unified regime named Commonwealth Visa modeled on the Schengen agreement.
Kassym Jomart Tokayev expressed confidence that such a step would increase the tourist flow significantly, pointing out the importance of joint work of experts.
The President welcomed the symbolism of announcing 2020 within the Commonwealth the 75th Year of the Victory in the Great Patriotic War.
During those heroic years, our nations, including Kazakhs, formed a unified indestructible front against the Nazi threat. Perpetuating the memory of those fallen in battle field, honouring the veterans or works is our common duty. We, in Kazakhstan, are categorically against the distortions of the history of the second world war, the Head of State said.
Kassym Jomart Tokayev assured those present that Kazakhstan is willing to deeply and systematically cooperate within the CIS.
Following the session of the Council of the Heads of State of the CIS, documents have been signed, they are:
1. The Declaration on strategic economic cooperation among the member States of the Commonwealth of Independent States;
2. The address of the Heads of State of the member States of the CIS to the nations of the CIS and the world community on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the Victory of the Soviet people in the Great Patriotic War 1941 1945;
3. The Convention of the member States of the CIS on the transfer of punishments other than deprivation of liberty;
4. The cooperation programme of the CIS member States in the fight against terrorism and other violent manifestations of extremism for 2020/22.
Source: Kazakhtan 2050