China, Central Asia Export Over 80% of Goods to Europe Through Kazakhstan

ASTANA – Over 80% of goods from China and Central Asia are currently exported to Europe through Kazakhstan, Kazakh First Deputy Prime Minister Roman Sklyar said at the German-Kazakh Business Forum on Sept. 11, reported Kazinform.

Roman Sklyar at the German-Kazakh Business Forum. Photo credit:

Cargo transshipment

Sklyar noted the increasing role of the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route (TITR), emphasizing the strategic importance of creating new transport and logistics routes to diversify and ensure the reliability of mutual supply chains and production amid the current geopolitical situation.

He highlighted the positive dynamics in cargo volumes on TITR, noting that cargo transshipment doubled to about 1.7 million tons last year. Cargo traffic increased by 64% over the five months of 2023, encouraging Kazakhstan to bring the volume of cargo transportation along this route to 10 million tons in the medium term.

“We are ready to provide port facilities to meet the growing needs of German and European partners,” he stated.

Sklyar added that German ports could play a key role in developing multimodal transport toward Germany as Kazakhstan is working to build external logistics terminals and develop digital intelligent transport systems.

Trade potential

Kazakhstan is Germany’s leading economic partner in Central Asia and accounts for more than 80% of all trade with the region, said Sklyar. The trade turnover between the countries increased to $2.8 billion last year, a 25% growth compared to 2021.

He noted that this progress was driven by positive trends in implementing joint projects. He underscored the potential to further increase mutual trade this year.

“Currently, over 1,000 companies operate in Kazakhstan with the participation of German capital. We are interested in continuing to work with German businesses to launch new investment projects,” he said.

Economic cooperation

In a meeting with Volker Treier, the Chief Executive of Foreign Trade at the Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DIHK), Sklyar noted Kazakhstan’s focus on enhancing its investment climate.

He identified Germany as one of Kazakhstan’s most significant partners within the European Union and expressed a keen interest in expanding cooperation in the sectors of energy, industry, transport, and logistics.

Treier reciprocated the sentiment, confirming that Kazakhstan is Germany’s primary partner in Central Asia. He cited German statistics that showed a remarkable 90.2% increase in trade turnover between the countries, reaching 9.7 billion euros ($10.4 billion) last year. Furthermore, Kazakhstan’s exports to Germany surged by 86.5% to 6.9 billion euros ($7.4 billion). Treier added that both nations hold immense potential for broadening and deepening their economic ties.

Joint projects

The DIHK delegation held a meeting with Adil Mukhamedzhanov, Deputy Chairman of Baiterek National Managing Holding, who expressed the company’s intentions to develop a strategic partnership between Kazakhstan and Germany.

The holding, which oversees subsidiaries such as the Development Bank of Kazakhstan, the Industrial Development Fund, Kazakhexport, and Qazaqstan Investment Corporation, currently manages 36 projects involving German participation. These projects are collectively valued at approximately 732 million euros ($784.8 million).

As a key player in Kazakhstan’s economic growth and an important financial agency of the country’s government, the holding allocated over 3.9 billion euros ($4.1 billion) to the non-oil sector last year, creating more than 6,000 jobs and generating products and services worth 7.5 billion euros ($8 billion).

Mukhamedzhanov informed that the holding and the German Committee on Eastern European Economic Relations signed a memorandum to create a working group on financing joint projects.

He invited German companies to participate in the working group’s inaugural meeting, scheduled for Sept. 27 in Berlin, to discuss joint projects in greater detail.

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