The customs border between Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan was officially opened today within the framework of Kyrgyzstan's accession to the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU).
"From this day, Kyrgyzstan will be able, along with other EEU member countries, to freely move its goods, services, capital and labor," TASS cited Kyrgyz Prime Minister Temir Sariyev as saying.
First Vice Prime Minister of Kazakhstan, Bakytzhan Sagintayev, also participated in the official ceremony. Kyrgyzstan’s President Almazbek Atambayev and his Kazakhstani counterpart, Nursultan Nazarbayev, observed the ceremony held in Cholpon-Ata via online video conference.
Customs controls will be lifted at eight checkpoints on the Kyrgyz-Kazakh border. Kyrgyz authorities have decided to organize special customs staffs to help businessmen and citizens to adapt to the new economic conditions. These headquarters will operate until August 31st.
The deputy head of the Editorial Council of Vestnik Kavkaza, the Director General of the Institute for Caspian Cooperation, Sergey Mikheyev, told Vestnik Kavkaza that the main benefit for Kyrgyzstan is that it will get a simplified regime for migrant workers.
"Undoubtedly, it will be easier to find work in the countries of the Eurasian Union for labor migrants from Kyrgyzstan within the EEU: up to one million of its population is working in Russia and Kazakhstan. In addition, customs duties will be reset or declined in a number of areas. This will facilitate the export of products from Kyrgyzstan to the countries of the Eurasian Union," the expert said.
"We know that earlier Kyrgyz agricultural products had problems gaining access outside the country. And I think that it will make the investment in economic projects in Kyrgyzstan easier," Mikheyev noted.
The Executive Director of the Political Science Center North-South, Yulia Yakusheva, told Vestnik Kavkaza that the process of Kyrgyzstan's accession to the EEU was preceded by extensive preparatory work carried out by different parties.
"Russia and Kazakhstan have provided funds to equip the border. And this process is not fully completed yet. There are some issues on the border demarcation with Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. In other words, all countries have expressed an interest, a willingness to support Kyrgyzstan's accession to the EEU," the expert said.
"Of course, it wasn't an accident, since Kyrgyzstan will certainly take its place as a part of the EEU. There are many benefits that the country receives after its accession to the EEU. Now Kyrgyz citizens can freely work in the EEU space. There are new opportunities for Kyrgyz light industry, for the revival of the Kyrgyz economy," the Executive Director of the Political Science Center North-South stressed.
"There was no alternative to Kyrgyzstan's accession to the EEU. Kyrgyzstan couldn't continue to exist on Chinese re-exports, because the border with Kazakhstan would have been an external border of the EEU, and the goods were supplied to Kyrgyzstan with high customs duties," Yulia Yakusheva concluded.