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Trade Relations between Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan

Among EAEU states, Kyrgyzstan is the second largest consumer, after Russia, of industrial and consumer goods from Kazakhstan.


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According to the Eurasian Economic Commission, the aggregate mutual trade turnover of Kyrgyzstan and other countries of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) in 2019 was 4,2 billion dollars, including 941.6 million or 22,24 per cent with Kazakhstan.

“However, Kazakhstan imports from Kyrgyzstan half as much and import is less diversified than export. The main Kyrgyz exported commodities to Kazakhstan are precious metal ores and flour confectionary goods,” said Olzhas Tuleuov, a managing director of AERC (Applied Economy Research Centre).

In 2019, the export of Kyrgyzstani goods was 337.5 million dollars, while the export of Kazakhstani goods was 604.04 million dollars. However, Kazakhstan’s export from Kyrgyzstan declined by 8 per cent compared to 2018, while Kyrgyzstan’s export to Kazakhstan increased by 25 per cent.

Currently, Kyrgyzstan is the second important partner for Kazakhstan in the framework of mutual trade in EAEU after Russia. In November 2019, speaking at the fifth session of the Higher Intergovernmental Council in Bishkek, the president of Kazakhstan Kassym Zhomart-Tokayev claimed the intention of the two countries to reach 1 billion dollars in sales turnover in 2020.

“Our sales turnover has been steadily growing for the third year in a row: from 2015 to 2018, the mutual trade increased by 30 per cent and amounted to 900 million dollars. Kazakhstan is one of the largest investors that invested into the Kyrgyz economy over 1 billion dollars,” Tokayev said (cited from Kazinform).

CABAR.asia analysed the commodities traded by neighbouring states and how the structure of export/import changed in the last five years after Kyrgyzstan joined the EAEU.

2015

In 2015, Kyrgyzstan’s export to Kazakhstan, according to the National Statistical Committee of the Kyrgyz Republic, was made of 74 items. However, there are only 22 items among the largest of them (with total volume from one million dollars and more):

In Kazakhstan, in 2015 the most exported goods was wheat with almost 362 thousand tonnes followed by tobacco products and coal. 

2016

In 2016, the total sales turnover between the two countries dropped down from 700.57 million dollars in 2015 to 668.6 million dollars. Kyrgyzstan’s export to Kazakhstan was made of 303 items, including 36 largest ones (with total volume from one million dollars):

In 2016, Kazakhstan’s export to Kyrgyzstan was made of 641 items, including 62 largest ones.

In 2015, the leader of supplies was wheat, in 2016 it was on the third place following oil products and tobacco goods.

Also, in 2016 Kazakhstan began to deliver motor cars, and in a year their volume was increased by one and a half times.

2017

In 2017, the total sales turnover between the republics was 765 million dollars. Kyrgyzstan’s export to Kazakhstan was made of 304 items, including 39 largest ones.

From 2017, Kyrgyzstan increased the volume of supplies of “horses, donkeys, mules, hinnies” to neighbours seven times. Also, the volume of export of dairy products was increased compared to the previous year. The country began to export dairy butter and honey to Kazakhstan. A year before, these items were not separated because their supplies were insignificant.

In 2017, there was a decline in the supply of vegetables and some items were removed from exported items.   

Kazakhstan’s export to Kyrgyzstan in the same year was made of 718 items (with 69 largest ones). 

2018

In 2018, the sales turnover between the countries increased up to 900.5 million dollars. Kyrgyzstan’s export to Kazakhstan was made of 346 items, including 39 largest ones. 

Supplies of women’s knitted shirts reduced by 7.7 million dollars, men’s knitwear by 4 million, ores and precious metals by 11 million dollars. Also, supplies of some items of dairy products, vegetables, fruit and nuts reduced. Export of honey was reduced significantly (680 million dollars).

However, supplies of sugar to Kazakhstan increased 169 times, export of pasta goods increased 15 times, and of bread and flour confectionery goods increased almost 63 times.

In the same year, Kazakhstan’s export to Kyrgyzstan was made of 807 items, including 83 largest ones. Oil products top the list. In 2016, their supplies amounted to 64.2 million dollars, and in 2018, their supplies increased up to 117.7 million.

However, the amount of wheat export reduced almost twice for the year. Also, motor cars moved down the list. In 2018, hygiene products for women and children left the top ten and were replaced by gas, which became one of the top three most exported goods.

2019

In 2019 (January to September), Kyrgyzstan’s export to Kazakhstan was made of 323 items, including 36 largest ones. Ore and precious metals were among the most exported, and supplies of plastic packaging increased almost four times in two years.

In the same period, Kazakhstan exported to Kyrgyzstan in large volumes: tobacco goods, oil products, natural and liquefied gas. The export was made of 787 items. It is worth to note that supplies of oil products reduced almost three times, while tobacco goods became the leaders of exported goods.

Great potential

After Kyrgyzstan joined the EAEU in 2015, the country’s export reduced by one third, and export to Kazakhstan reduced by 53 per cent. In the following years, the country managed to recover and even improve the turnover, but due to the active trade with Russia. However, the republic failed to reach the 2014 level of export to Kazakhstan.

“The import of textiles and apparel has great potential. Currently, the share of Kyrgyz textiles in the market of Kazakhstan is 0.3 per cent only in the total import for 83 million dollars. Also, supplies of footwear can increase in future. Footwear supplies in our market amount to only 0.03 per cent of Kazakhstan’s import, against the total volume of footwear import in Kazakhstan, 277 million dollars,” Chingiz Torez, export analysis project manager of the Trade Policy Development Centre, said in the interview to CABAR.asia.

Kazakhstan’s export to Kyrgyzstan in 2019 failed to reach the 2014 level (704.8 million dollars), it is 14.3 per cent less than that. However, the republic has potential to get back to its position of export to Kyrgyzstan, according to Denis Berdakov, director of think-tank Central Eurasia Transboundary Research Network. According to him, Kazakhstan’s foodstuffs are in high demand in the Kyrgyz market.

“Some foodstuffs are cheaper there because of integration and automation of production process, as well as long-term loans and public support. Kyrgyzstan is interested in importing Kazakh meat, milk and crops. It is also interested in petroleum, oil and lubricants. However, the parties have been talking about supplies of oil products for many years and still have not signed any agreement,” Berdakov said.

Main photo: kazakh-tv.kz


Данный материал подготовлен в рамках проекта IWPR «Giving Voice, Driving Change — from the Borderland to the Steppes Project».

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