China-Kazakhstan bilateral trade could reach a new high this year, possibly getting closer to the $40-billion mark following the positive trend of previous years, a Kazakh official told the Global Times on Thursday. Last year, the trade volume hit the record high of $31.17 billion.
Speaking on the sidelines of an investment promotional event that will last from Thursday to Saturday in Beijing, Kuanysh Amantay, general representative of Kazakh Invest in China, said that there is a huge potential for cooperation between the two sides in trade and investment, and the trade volume will hit another historical high – possibly getting closer to $40 billion -this year with the closer ties and high complementarities between China and Kazakhstan.
“In terms of economy, trade and investment, the two countries have a lot of potential to be tapped…for example, Kazakhstan has a series of priority industries that we hope to promote through international cooperation. These industries include mining, exploration, metallurgy, chemical industry, petrochemical, and machine manufacturing,” Amantay told the Global Times.
The general representative highlighted the most important principle of business cooperation in these fields is to proceed on the basis of mutual benefit, which is also the core of the bilateral cooperation among companies on both sides.
Amantay said that they need the advantages of Chinese enterprises in terms of capital, project experience and technology while Kazakhstan has huge natural resources ranging from mining to energy and agriculture for foreign investors to tap into.
Moreover, as two close neighboring countries, some Kazakh products can not only be exported to the Chinese market but also go to other third countries through China, such as the markets in Southeast Asia.
The bilateral economic and trade ties entered a faster lane of development after the two countries issued a joint statement on May 17 during the state visit of the Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev to China. The statement sent a clear message to the two neighboring countries to actively promote the further expansion of bilateral economic and trade cooperation, production capacity and investment cooperation.
Currently, the total number of investment projects in the industrial sector between China and Kazakhstan stands at 57, with the total investment exceeding $16 billion, according to the Ministry of Industry and Infrastructure Development of Kazakhstan.
Speaking at an event Thursday, Marat Karimzhanovich Karabayev, minister of Industry and Infrastructure Development of Kazakhstan, who is currently on a visit to China, shared the opportunities the Central Asian country is ready to offer to more Chinese business partners.
Most of our oil and gas equipment need to be imported…so there is great potential for cooperation in this area,” the minister said.
The railway connectivity, the major part of the bilateral cooperation and the impetus for a stronger trade in the region and beyond, was also highlighted at the event.
In order to further unleash the potential of the trade and investment, Karabayev said that they are looking to purchase more freight cars from Chinese companies to enhance the trading capacity between China and Kzakhstan.
“We are currently constructing a third railway line, and we expect to complete the construction of this railway by 2025,” Karabayev said.
The minister said that the expansion of railway transport ports could allow Kzakhstan to increase the transportation volume from 28 million tons to 55 million tons, and “help to further reduce transportation costs.”
Source : Global Times