ASTANA – Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev and Ma Xingrui, member of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party and Communist Party Secretary of Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR), reaffirmed the intention to enhance and deepen cooperation on Oct. 18 in Urumqi, reported the Akorda press service.
During the meeting, Tokayev noted high results of Kazakhstan’s interaction with Xinjiang in trade, industry, transport, logistics, agriculture and tourism.
“Kazakhstan is ready to increase the supply of various products, including metallurgical, petrochemical, engineering, food products, as well as construction materials. (…) Also, Kazakhstan could become a stable supplier of environmentally friendly agricultural products to the Chinese market,” the President said.
Tokayev focused on the economic ties between the four border regions of Kazakhstan and Xinjiang. The share of Xinjiang exceeds 40% of the total trade volume between Kazakhstan and China. In six months this year, the trade turnover between Kazakhstan and Xinjiang increased by 87%, reaching $8.5 billion.
The President highlighted the importance of constructing the third railway crossing between Kazakhstan and China, encouraging the implementation of this project in the near future.
During the talks, the sides addressed cooperation in the water industry, the use of transboundary rivers, and the development of tourist exchanges. The year of Kazakhstan’s Tourism in China, designated for 2024, is supposed to increase the flow of tourists from China to Kazakhstan, Tokayev said.
“We will encourage Kazakh tourists to travel to China to explore natural beauty and your achievements in socio-economic development,” he added.
The President also focused on advancing historical, cultural, and humanitarian relations between Kazakhstan and the XUAR.
“Since ancient times, Xinjiang has been famous for its substantial cultural development. Local creative teams deservedly enjoy international recognition. We support the full development of creative exchanges and mutual tours, which will undoubtedly help strengthen the ties of good neighborliness and friendship,” Tokayev said.
Ma underlined the importance of implementing the agreements reached during talks between Tokayev and President of China Xi Jinping and initiatives announced at the Belt and Road Forum.
“We will deepen bilateral trade and economic cooperation, focusing on agriculture, cross-border trade, and energy. We will establish interaction between our scientific organizations, universities, and enterprises, encourage our joint ventures to invest and open businesses in Kazakhstan and Xinjiang,” he said.
According to Ma, Tokayev’s visit to China is historic, and the meeting in XUAR would strengthen interregional cooperation.