ASTANA – Kazakh Prime Minister Alikhan Smailov and Secretary of the Party Committee of Shandong Province Lin Wu discussed the advancement of cooperation in trade, economics, transport and logistics during a Sept. 4 meeting, reported the Prime Minister’s press service.
According to Smailov, Shandong makes up more than 6% of the total trade volume between Kazakhstan and China. He expressed the country’s interest in promoting its products to the Chinese market and exploring new areas of cooperation. Smailov highlighted the relevance of developing transport potential and deepening cooperation within the One Belt, One Road initiative.
“Kazakhstan shipped the first batch of grain to Eastern China on a new China-Europe freight train on Sept. 3. We are ready to increase the supply of Kazakh products along this route and expand the range of goods and services,” he said.
Lin, in turn, said that the Shandong province and the regions of Kazakhstan had established productive cooperation and focused on a great potential for expanding cooperation in the areas of deep processing of agricultural products, trade, and the construction of logistics infrastructure.
On Monday, Lin also participated in the Kazakh-Chinese trade and economic cooperation forum chaired by Kazakh Deputy Prime Minister Serik Zhumangarin.
Shandong Province is the third trading partner for Kazakhstan among all regions of China, after Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) and Beijing. Kazakhstan’s trade with Shandong Province for the first half of this year reached $1.1 billion. However, Zhumangarin said, the two countries have much more to offer.
Shandong Province is an important agricultural production area in China, rich in wheat, cotton, fruits and vegetables. Therefore, the key area of potential cooperation between the countries is the agro-industrial complex of Kazakhstan.
Over the past ten years, Kazakhstan has managed to build up an enormous export potential in agriculture, supplying products to the countries of Central Asia, the European Union (EU) and the Middle East.
In 2022, the export of agricultural goods from Kazakhstan to China increased by 2.5 times compared to 2021 and hit $548 million.
The countries are implementing 52 joint industrial and investment projects worth more than $21 billion, Zhumangarin said, referring to President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev’s task to attract at least $150 billion in investments in the next seven years.
“Starting from 2015, some 25 projects worth $7.3 billion have been launched. Six projects are scheduled to be put into operation this year. Today, we are ready to provide potential investors with a wide range of preferences,” he said.
Lin invited the Kazakh side to cooperate in agriculture, industry, transport and logistics, and humanitarian areas.
As a result of the forum, the sides signed cooperation agreements.