ASTANA – The first Kazakh-Chinese business forum brought together over 200 business leaders in Shenzhen, China’s largest economic and industrial center, on Aug. 14 to showcase Kazakhstan’s investment opportunities, reported the Prime Minister’s press service.
In his opening remarks, Kazakh Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Trade and Integration Serik Zhumangarin spoke about close relations between the two countries.
“Long-standing friendships and partnerships closely link two countries, cultures and economies. Presidents of both states pay special attention to the development of comprehensive cooperation. Soon, we are going to launch a visa-free regime. This will undoubtedly give a significant impetus to strengthening cultural, humanitarian and economic ties,” he said.
Zhumangarin outlined logistics, including developing existing routes and creating new ones, infrastructure and cargo-handling centers, and deep processing of products and agriculture as promising areas for investments in Kazakhstan.
“The country creates a network of border trade and economic hubs, logistics centers, which will become the basis of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and Central Asian countries with the prospect of expansion. Each region of Kazakhstan has special economic and industrial zones with tax preferences and a special legal regime,” he said.
The bilateral trade hit record levels in 2022, reaching $24.1 billion. The export of Kazakh products to China increased by over a third, totaling $13.2 billion. Similarly, the demand for Chinese goods in Kazakhstan is growing. Imports grew by 33.5% to $11 billion.
Trade between the countries in January-June showed an increase of 20.5%, reaching $13.6 billion, including $6.3 billion in Kazakh exports.
Zhumangarin’s working visit to China began on Aug. 13. He took part in a roundtable to address the development of cooperation with major busineses, service suppliers in China, and global exporters in agriculture, logistics, and transport.
“Today, Kazakh-Chinese cooperation is characterized by high dynamics of contacts at the highest level and a wide range of areas of trade and economic cooperation, attraction of investments, development of transport and logistics,” said Zhumangarin.
Tian Weihong, Secretary General of the China National Seed Trade Association (CNSTA), proposed developing Kazakhstan’s seed production industry.
“Seeds are the foundation of agricultural development. In 30 years, we have achieved a big breakthrough. Results are outstanding in improving the efficiency of varieties of crops such as rice and corn. High-quality seeds can meet not only China’s demand but also abroad. This also meets the potential of Kazakhstan, where there are huge areas for crops,” she said.
The Kazakh delegation invited a group of specialists from the association to come to Kazakhstan in August to discuss cooperation.
Zhumangarin also met with top executives from Amer International Group, a Chinese international industrial conglomerate engaged in extracting raw materials and metal processing, and Huawei Technologies. Both companies are listed in the Fortune Global 500, an annual ranking of the top 500 corporations worldwide as measured by revenue.
Zhumangarin invited Amer International Group to set up the entire process from exploration and production to metal processing in Kazakhstan and discussed the latest digitalization trends and cooperation opportunities for developing the Kazakh digital ecosystem with Huawei Technologies managers.