Alikhan Smailov and Li Keqiang discuss trade, freight and air links

Topical issues of strengthening Kazakhstan-China cooperation were discussed by Prime Minister Alikhan Smailov and Premier of the State Council of China Li Keqiang during bilateral negotiations via videoconferencing. 

They discussed issues of cooperation in trade and economic and transit-transport spheres, energy, engineering, agriculture, environment, tourism, financial sector, and in the field of innovative technologies.  

In his speech, Alikhan Smailov said that last year the trade turnover between Kazakhstan and China increased by 14% to $18 billion. This year there is even more dynamic growth: for 10 months the figure grew by almost 33% and reached $19.7 billion.  

"Our Heads of State set the goal to increase trade turnover up to $35 billion by 2030. We are ready to work together with our Chinese colleagues on this ambitious task," the Prime Minister stressed.

According to him, it is necessary to further expand the range of supplied goods and services and establish more direct contacts between the business communities of the two countries. In particular, Kazakhstan is ready to reinforce the positive trade trend and increase exports of its products to China in 135 commodity items. 

As other priority areas of cooperation, Alikhan Smailov named the launch of new projects in the oil and gas sector and mechanical engineering, development of rail freight, including the opening of a third railway checkpoint between Kazakhstan and China, as well as improving the efficiency of road border crossing points.

In addition, the Prime Minister noted the importance of removing barriers to the export of Kazakhstan agricultural products, increasing the number of passenger flights and enhancing cooperation on the use and protection of trans-border rivers.

"We are ready for an active dialogue. I am sure that the high dynamics of the Kazakh-Chinese strategic partnership will develop in all directions," Alikhan Smailov said.

In turn, Li Keqiang said that China regards Kazakhstan as a friendly neighbour and an important trade partner. According to him, of particular interest to China is to increase the supply of cargo and agricultural products, launch new projects in the field of energy, as well as development of humanitarian relations and cooperation in the field of environmental protection. 

"We are ready to continue working together with our Kazakh colleagues to strengthen bilateral relations between our countries," Li Keqiang said.

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