Kazakh shippers to save to $160 million in transportation via Russia in 2009: deputy minister

Business Materials 1 June 2009 16:14 (UTC +04:00)

Kazakhstan, Astana, June 1 / Trend , K.Konirova/

Kazakh shippers will be able to save from $150 to 160 million through applying preferential tariffs to the transit of Kazakh goods via Russia in 2009, Deputy Minister of Transport and Communications Azat Bekturov said when answering a question of Trend correspondent in Astana on June 1.

"With introducing preferential tariffs for the transit of Kazakh goods to all directions via Russia, local shippers will be able to save from $150 to 160 million this year," Bekturov said.

He noted that during Russian Premier Vladimir Putin's recent visit to Astana, the joint-stock company "Kazakhstan Temir Zholy" and state corporation "Russian Railways" signed a memorandum on applying preferential tariffs at 8.8 percent on the transit of Kazakh goods to all directions via Russia.

This document also provides the same preferential tariff at 8.8 percent for Russian goods via Kazakhstan, as well.

"This memorandum has already entered into force, and concluded only in 2009," the deputy minister noted.

The deputy minister added that the Kazakh Transport Ministry is negotiating to make the signed memorandum long-term.

"It is hard to negotiate every year and to talk about a specific discount is difficult, it takes a long time. We would like to have an agreement that would set us on a long-term basis. In fact, the customs union is created not by one year, and since we are talking of greater integration, as part of which we integrate into the customs area and it is necessary to be integrated in the transport direction," the Deputy Minister stressed.

He noted that already there is an agreement between the two sides in order the same document to be signed not only at the level of the two companies - "Kazakhstan Temir Joly" and "Russian Railways", but at the ministerial level, and then - at intergovernmental.

At the same time, Bekturov noted that the Kazakh side has continued to negotiate to improve the rate of discount fares for the transit of the Russian side.

"We would like to see the amount of preferential tariffs to be higher. We have the calculations at 10, 15, 20-percent reduction in tariff for our goods, but negotiating process is still lasting. It is difficult for Russia at the moment, as well. We understand Russia's position, which also protect their producers. Only in 2009, Russia's losses in railways may reach $3 billion, they also believe it is unprofitable for them to spread discount," the deputy minister said.

Kazakhstan's export list includes wheat, oil, ore and bauxite.

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