Visa-free regime to open new chapter in Kazakhstan-China relations — Alikhan Smailov meets with Premier of the State Council of the People's Republic of China

During a working visit to Shanghai, Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Alikhan Smailov met with Premier of the State Council of the People's Republic of China Li Qiang to discuss topical issues of trade and economic cooperation between the two countries.

Welcoming his colleague, Alikhan Smailov emphasized that Kazakhstan attaches exceptional importance to strengthening the bonds of friendship, good-neighborliness and strategic partnership with China.

"Personal friendly contacts between the top leadership of the two countries have a positive impact on all aspects of our interaction. Recently held talks between the President of Kazakhstan Kasym-Jomart Tokayev and the President of China Xi Jinping have allowed to fill with new content the Kazakh-Chinese cooperation in the next era of "golden 30 years"," Prime Minister said.

As Head of the Government noted, China is one of the largest trading partners of Kazakhstan. Thus, last year bilateral trade turnover increased by 35% and reached a record volume of $24.2 billion. Dynamic growth continues in the current year: mutual trade increased by another 21%.

"I believe that at this pace we will soon be able to achieve the task set by the leaders of our countries to bring trade turnover to $40 billion. We are ready to work on this ambitious task together with our Chinese colleagues," Alikhan Smailov said.

According to him, investment cooperation is also an important area of interaction. Today China is among the top 5 investor countries in Kazakhstan's economy. The total inflow of investments from China for the last 18 years has reached $24 billion. In the first half of this year, the volume of Chinese investments increased by 30% to almost $750 million.

"Today there are about 4,700 Kazakh-Chinese enterprises operating in our country, 730 of which joined only last year. These indicators confirm the sustainability and productivity of our investment interaction. We invite the investment community of China to expand its participation in joint projects," Head of the Government emphasized.

According to Prime Minister, the introduced visa-free regime will significantly contribute to the stimulation of business contacts, trade facilitation, increase in mutual investment and tourism development between the Republic of Kazakhstan and the PRC.

"Its entry into force on Nov. 10 opens a new chapter in our relations. This is especially relevant in light of the upcoming "Year of Tourism of Kazakhstan in China". I believe that this measure will make travels of our citizens more affordable and strengthen our ties even more," Alikhan Smailov said.

In general, he outlined the readiness of the Government of Kazakhstan to make every effort for the progressive development of cooperation with China.

"In this context, I invite you to pay an official visit to Kazakhstan next year. I am confident that this will raise the friendly relations between our countries to an even higher level," the Prime Minister said. 

For his part, the Premier of the State Council of the People's Republic of China emphasized that China and Kazakhstan have established productive multidimensional cooperation, which has successfully withstood the tests of the rapidly changing international situation.

"The heads of our states have outlined priority tasks and directions for further development of our relations. We are ready to make joint efforts with our Kazakh colleagues to translate these agreements at the highest level into practical terms. So that such cooperation will have a positive impact on the living standards of our peoples," Li Qiang said.

#Alikhan Smailov #The Prime Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan #International Cooperation #Trade and economic cooperation

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