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Initiative already showing successes

By Zhong Nan | China Daily | Updated: 2017-06-08 07:20

The tangible results of the Belt and Road Initiative will generate new growth momentum this year, especially in the fields of energy, agriculture and infrastructure, in China and Kazakhstan, according to officials and business leaders.

Yu Jianlong, secretary-general of the Beijing-based China Chamber of International Commerce, said China already has linked the Belt and Road Initiative with Kazakhstan's Bright Road new economic policy.

"This coincides with Kazakhstan's ongoing infrastructure development and industrialization, which are aimed at boosting production and exports," he said.

Proposed by China in 2013, the Belt and Road Initiative, which embodies infrastructure, service and trade networks, is comprised of a land-based Silk Road Economic Belt and a sea-based 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.

The initiative has gained support from over 100 economies and international organizations, with more than 50 cooperation agreements signed between governments since 2013.

"China has big companies and rich experience to push forward development in energy, roads, water conservation and agriculture in Kazakhstan," said Li Gang, vice-president of the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation in Beijing.

Eager to diversify their business operations in the country, Chinese companies such as China National Machinery Industry Corp, Power Construction Corp of China, China Communications Construction Co and Huawei Technologies Co have all begun to work with local companies to carry out aviation, power, road and telecommunications projects in the country.

The volume of trade amounted to $7.88 billion in 2016. China is Kazakhstan's second-largest export market after Russia, according to Kazakhstan's national statistics.

Metal, timber, construction materials, agricultural and chemical products are Kazakhstan's main exports to China. China exports mainly construction machinery, manufacturing equipment, steel, electronics, textiles, garments and household appliances to Kazakhstan. Chinese-made passenger vehicles and trucks also have become popular in the country.

State-owned China National Cereals, Oils and Foodstuffs Corp, the country's biggest food trader, plans to import more Kazakh wheat this year. It already imported 2,200 metric tons in March.

"Kazakh wheat has offered a diversified channel for China's wheat import, which can help enhance the product quality and competitiveness of flour processing industry in western China and also enrich the supply of different wheat varieties to the domestic market," said Ma Lijun, general manager of wheat business at COFCO Trading Co, a COFCO subsidiary.

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