28 November 2023, 08:00
Prime Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan Alikhan Smailov held talks with Deputy Premier of the State Council of the People's Republic of China Ding Xuexiang, who is in Astana on a working visit.
During the meeting the parties discussed a wide range of issues of interstate cooperation in trade, investment, industry, energy, agriculture, transportation and logistics, culture, etc.
As Alikhan Smailov noted, at present the bilateral trade turnover between the Republic of Kazakhstan and the People's Republic of China demonstrates high indicators. Thus, last year it increased by 35% and reached an impressive volume of $24.2 billion. Dynamic growth continues this year.
"In 10 months, mutual trade has grown by another 24%. I believe that at this pace we will soon be able to achieve the goal of increasing trade turnover to $40 billion, outlined by the heads of two states," Prime Minister said.
He also added that the visa-free regime, which came into effect on November 10, opens a new chapter in Kazakhstan-China relations.
"This measure will significantly affect the stimulation of business contacts, trade facilitation, increase in mutual investments and tourism development. This is especially relevant in light of the upcoming "Year of Tourism of Kazakhstan in China," Alikhan Smailov said.
Head of the Government stressed the importance of expanding the List of joint Kazakhstan-China projects in the field of industrialization and investment, signing the Roadmap for the implementation of the Program of trade and economic cooperation until 2026, as well as updating the Agreement on mutual inspection of import-export goods.
"I am confident that the practical measures to be envisaged in these documents will allow expanding the range of supplied goods and will bring the trade partnership to a qualitatively new level," the Prime Minister said.
At the same time, Alikhan Smailov indicated Kazakhstan's interest in increasing trade turnover in agricultural products, increasing exports to China and realization of joint processing projects in the field of agro-industrial complex.
At the same time, he noted that the transit and transportation interaction is of particular importance. Today, about 85% of goods from China to Europe are transported through Kazakhstan. In this regard, the republic is taking active measures to increase the capacity of its infrastructure to fully cover the growing demand.
Prime Minister paid special attention to the issue of acceleration of customs processes. Thus, today the customs services of the two countries have reached an agreement to increase the capacity and working hours of automobile checkpoints on the border. In particular, the checkpoint "Nur Zholy - Khorgos" began to work in a round-the-clock mode, other automobile checkpoints have switched to a 12-hour 7-day operation mode.
"Due to digitalization and automation of processes, the time of border crossing has been reduced. It is important to continue working in this direction," he said.
Alikhan Smailov also noted the importance of further increasing the number of flights between the countries and the realization of major projects in the energy sector. This includes expansion of the capacity of the Kazakhstan-China oil pipeline, modernization of the oil refinery in Shymkent, etc.
"The Government of Kazakhstan is ready to develop full-scale and mutually beneficial cooperation with China in all directions," the Prime Minister emphasized.
In turn, Deputy Premier of the State Council of the People's Republic of China Ding Xuexiang noted that this year has become very productive for Kazakhstan and China, and outlined the readiness of the PRC to increase cooperation in all mutually beneficial areas.
#Alikhan Smailov #International Cooperation #Investments
"China and Kazakhstan are close neighbors, true friends and partners. At present, both countries are at a key stage of their development and revival. Against the backdrop of unprecedented changes, China and Kazakhstan are facing more complex challenges. Therefore, in the spirit of cooperation, we should strengthen mutual support on all key issues. The Chinese side will continue to firmly support Kazakhstan and all efforts aimed at development and prosperity," Ding Xuexiang said.