China Seeks to Expand Agricultural Trade with Kazakhstan, Says Chinese FM

ASTANA – Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi highlighted China’s interest in increasing investment and trade, particularly in agriculture, during the press briefing with Kazakhstan’s Deputy Prime Minister – Foreign Minister Murat Nurtleu on May 20 in Astana.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi (L) along the Kazakh Foreign Minister Murat Nurtleu (R) during the press briefing. Photo credit: The Astana Times

“The two sides believe that the development of China-Kazakhstan relations meets the requirements of the times and the international situation. Eternal friendship, deep mutual trust and solidarity have already become the locomotive of bilateral relations,” said Wang.

Trade and investment

According to Foreign Minister Wang, last year’s trade turnover between the two countries reached $41 billion, surpassing the previously set target of $40 billion seven years ahead of schedule.

“Two sides are discussing to set a more ambitious trade target,” he said.

“Among the 45 industrial cooperation projects identified by the sides, 26 projects have already been finalized, covering such areas as metallurgy, energy, resource development, machine building, construction materials, chemical industry and infrastructure. Our cooperation in oil and gas, as well as nuclear energy, is also moving forward at an accelerated pace,” added Wang.

He said that China is willing to expand the import of high-quality agricultural products from Kazakhstan.

Nurtleu supported his Chinese counterpart by highlighting that China is among Kazakhstan’s top five investors, with over $24 billion in capital invested in the country.

“The Kazakh government fully welcomes the intention of the Chinese side to increase the volume of investments. Currently, there are dozens of joint projects being implemented in oil and gas, chemistry, metallurgy, agriculture, mining, and other sectors,” he said.

“It is also very important for us to further improve our capabilities in advanced technology, innovation and scientific research. In particular, the proposal of the Chinese side to establish production of electric vehicles in our country will be fully supported by the Kazakh side,” said Nurtleu.

“In turn, I invited Chinese companies to jointly develop rare mineral reserves,” he added.

The new protocol on the creation of subcommittees in the fields of innovations and agriculture signed on May 20 boosts the bilateral cooperation in agriculture and innovation.  

“Our government is ready to provide assistance to Chinese businesses to implement mutually beneficial projects in the production and deep processing of agricultural products, as provided for in this document,” said Nurtleu.


Better transport connectivity is also among the top priorities between the two countries.

“The two sides decided to further strengthen China-Europe train cooperation and provide more favorable conditions, including increasing the throughput and carrying capacity, providing more comprehensive service and transit policy,” said Wang.

“The parties actively support the construction of the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route and believe that it is important to enhance the interconnectivity of the Eurasian continent. Therefore, it is important to promote the construction of infrastructure and strengthen coordination,” he added.

According to Wang, China and Kazakhstan are negotiating the establishment of a third railroad to increase the role of the Xian dry port and to unlock the potential of cross-border transportation.

In February, Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev participated in a teleconference launching the transportation and logistics terminal in Chinese Xian, which connects the Chinese city of Shaanxi with Kazakhstan, Central Asia and Europe.

Wang also highlighted strong cooperation in education, culture and tourism.

The sides will continue to exchange views on the international and regional agenda at the Council of National Coordinators (CNC) of the member states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), which will convene in Astana on May 21.  

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