In a significant step towards strengthening bilateral relations, the Prime Minister of Kazakhstan, Alikhan Smailov, and the Deputy Premier of the People’s Republic of China, Ding Xuexiang, convened a meeting to discuss various aspects of interstate cooperation on the 28th of November 2023.
The meeting highlighted the remarkable growth in trade between the two nations, with a 35% increase last year, amounting to $24.2 billion, and an additional 24% growth in the first ten months of this year.
Kazakhstan’s strategic location as a transit nation in the Middle Corridor, connecting Asia and Europe, makes it crucial for the transportation of energy resources and trade. Being a landlocked country, Kazakhstan plays a vital role in facilitating the movement of goods, including oil, gas, and other commodities, from China to Europe. Around 85% of the goods transported between these two regions pass through Kazakhstan, underscoring its significant importance in enabling trade.
Smailov expressed his optimism in achieving the target of increasing trade turnover to $40 billion, as set by the leaders of both countries. He emphasized the significance of expanding joint Kazakhstan-China projects across multiple sectors, including trade, investment, industry, energy, agriculture, transportation, and logistics.
The recently implemented visa-free regime, effective from November 10, is expected to stimulate business contacts, facilitate trade, encourage mutual investments, and promote tourism development. This is particularly relevant in light of the upcoming “Year of Tourism of Kazakhstan in China.”
Transit and transportation collaboration plays a crucial role, as approximately 85% of goods from China to Europe are transported through Kazakhstan. The country is actively taking measures to enhance its infrastructure capacity to meet the growing demand. Smailov also emphasized the need to expedite customs processes and increase the number of flights between the two nations.
Significant projects in the energy sector, such as the expansion of the Kazakhstan-China oil pipeline and the modernization of the oil refinery in Shymkent, were also deliberated upon. Smailov assured that the Government of Kazakhstan is fully committed to fostering comprehensive and mutually beneficial cooperation with China in all areas.
The recent meeting between Deputy Premier Ding Xuexiang and officials from Kazakhstan marked a significant milestone in the ongoing efforts to strengthen the bilateral relations between China and Kazakhstan. Both nations reiterated their commitment to fostering mutual growth and prosperity, highlighting the productive year they have had so far. Deputy Premier Ding Xuexiang emphasized the close bond between Kazakhstan and China and assured continued support from China for the development and prosperity of Kazakhstan.
The meeting marked a significant step towards strengthening bilateral relations between Kazakhstan and China, boosting trade turnover and stimulating economic growth. The discussion was centred around boosting trade, implementing a visa-free regime which enhances tourism in both countries, enhancing infrastructure for and trade and transit, increasing mutual investments, enhancing Kazakhstan’s role as a major international transit hub. The meeting highlighted the commitment of both nations towards mutual growth, prosperity and enhanced bilateral ties in various areas.