Alikhan Smailov and Zhang Xiao discuss key issues of cooperation between Kazakhstan and China

The Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Alikhan Smailov held a meeting with Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of China Zhang Xiao to Kazakhstan on Wednesday, March 1.

The parties discussed a wide range of issues of interstate cooperation in the areas of trade, investment, industry, energy, agriculture, transport and logistics, digital technologies, the use of transboundary rivers, etc.

The Prime Minister stressed that China is one of the largest trading partners of Kazakhstan, accounting for 18% of total trade turnover. China is also one of the top five countries-investors in the economy of the Republic.

At the same time, Alikhan Smailov expressed readiness of the government to work actively on achievement of the goal on increase of mutual trade up to $35 billion by 2030 set by the leaders of the two states.

"Our countries have significant potential in the supply of agricultural products. Kazakh enterprises would like to further increase exports of food products to China. In this regard, further removal of trade barriers and restrictions is of great importance," the Prime Minister said.

In turn, Zhang Xiao expressed the interest of the Chinese side in importing agricultural products from Kazakhstan, increasing the volume of rail transport, strengthening inter-regional cooperation and partnership in the IT-sector.

According to him, Kazakhstani companies are now being actively assisted in entering major Chinese trading platforms and the PRC market as a whole.

"We believe that there is great potential to bring our economic relations to a qualitatively new level. We need to set new, more ambitious goals," Zhang Xiao said.

During the meeting, the parties considered issues of restoring the operation of the ICBC "Khorgos", opening the third railway crossing point "Bakhty-Pokitu", development of the Trans-Caspian international transport route, construction of major highways and creation of new production facilities in the mechanical engineering industry.

In addition, it was noted that in the near future it is planned to resume air links between Astana and Beijing with a frequency of three flights a week and simplification of procedures for mutual trips of citizens.

At the end of the meeting the readiness to continue active cooperation in all mutually beneficial directions was confirmed.

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