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President of Kazakhstan Mr. Nazarbayev and President of Kyrgyzstan Mr. Jeenbekov will attend the 18th meeting of the SCO Council of Heads of State and pay a state visit to China in early June at President Xi Jinping’s invitation. What’s your comment on trade and economic cooperation between China and the two countries? (2018-5-31)

Over past seven years since the establishment of China-Kazakhstan comprehensive strategic partnership, under the strong leadership and care from the highest level, the Belt and Road initiative has been closely connected with Kazakhstan’s new economic policy “Nurly Zhol” (the Bright Road) and “Third Stage of Modernization”. Bilateral trade and economic cooperation is picking up steam and has yielded fruitful results.

First, bilateral trade increases rapidly. According to Chinese statistics, bilateral trade value reached US$18 billion in 2017, up by 37.4% year-on-year, ranking among the fastest growth in trade between China and major trading partners. China imported Kazakh natural gas in 2017 for the first time, which will further enhance bilateral trade.

Second, cooperation on major projects speeds up paces. China and Kazakhstan have formulated an early harvest list of 51 production capacity projects, among which four have entered production and 11 have been launched. In addition, major projects worth more than US$1 billion in chemical and infrastructure have also been accelerated by Chinese companies.
Third, connectivity brings marked results. In 2017, over 1,800 cargo trains passed through Kazakhstan with a YOY growth of 50%. The cross-border channel between China and Europe via Horgos port has gained more and more influence.

Fourth, financial cooperation continues to upgrade. China is Kazakhstan’s biggest commercial loan source and the fourth largest source of investment. Investment and financial cooperation in non-energy sectors have grown rapidly. China actively participates in building the financial center in Astana.

Fifth, agricultural and local-level cooperation is thriving. A series of Kazakh agricultural produce has quickly obtained market access to China. Bilateral cooperation on farming, husbandry, agricultural processing, agricultural technology, logistics and transportation, among others, has gone from strength to strength, which has become a bright spot in China-Kazakhstan trade and economic cooperation. The first forum on local cooperation has been successfully held. Leaders and over 40 governors from the two countries have attended the event which provides a new platform for local-level exchanges and cooperation.

With regard to China-Kyrgyzstan commercial cooperation in recent years, thanks to the care and support of two leaderships, Kyrgyzstan actively supports the Belt and Road initiative. Bilateral trade and economic cooperation has made steady progress and fruitful results.

First, bilateral trade is expanding in scale. According to Chinese statistics, in 2017, bilateral trade value reached US$5.45 billion, a 150 fold increase from US$35.48 million in 1992 when the two sides established diplomatic ties. China remains Kyrgyzstan’s largest trading partner. In the first quarter this year, bilateral trade value amounted to US$1.78 billion with a YOY growth of 10.1%.

Second, investment cooperation has been active. Chinese statistics show that by the end of 2017, total Chinese direct investment in Kyrgyzstan had reached US$3.86 billion, making China the largest source of investment in the country. The investment areas include, among others, agriculture, infrastructure, transportation, energy and mining.

Third, economic cooperation and assistance has generated remarkable outcomes. China has many economic assistance projects in wide areas and multiple regions, bringing real benefits to local people. The thermal power station in Bishkek, China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan highway, north-south highway, irrigation system upgrade, Osh hospital and other projects are moving ahead smoothly, which has further deepened the friendship between our two peoples. Thank you.


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