Business cooperation seen growing rapidly

By ZHONG NAN | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2022-09-16 09:10
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Buyers (right) from Kazakhstan talk with an exhibitor at the Canton Fair in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, in 2021. LIU DAWEI/XINHUA

China-Kazakhstan trade volume has jumped from $368 million in 1992 to $25.25 billion

Business cooperation between China and Kazakhstan is expected to experience rapid growth in the years ahead, as the two nations expand many programs to shore up regional connectivity, stoking the steady growth of foreign trade and new energy-related projects, experts and business leaders said.

As the year marks the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Kazakhstan, they said the two countries have not only helped ensure the stability of Eurasian production cooperation and the smooth operation of China-Europe freight train services, but also effectively addressed global energy security challenges at a time of increasing pressure on the global economy.

With improved connectivity projects such as the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route and new railway express services, the two countries should further strengthen their development strategies, and expand new areas for cooperation, especially in the fields of 5G, big data, digital finance, cross-border e-commerce and green energy, said Zhou Lei, a researcher specializing in regional economic development at the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing.

The Trans-Caspian International Transport Route is a rail freight corridor linking China and the European Union through Central Asia, the Caucasus, Turkiye and Eastern Europe, said the Tokyo-based Asian Development Bank Institute.

"The enhanced rail and road transportation networks between China and Kazakhstan will bring up a win-win situation as China has huge demand for imports from the Central Asian country. It will boost the job market and industrial upgrading in Kazakhstan," said Tian Dewen, deputy director of the Institute of Russian, Eastern European and Central Asian Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing.

Central Asia, especially Kazakhstan, has served as a key gateway on the western route for China-Europe freight train services. As of July, more than 57,000 train journeys had been made through this transportation corridor, with cargo worth nearly $300 billion in 5.3 million twenty-foot equivalent unit containers. This service was launched in 2011.

The launch of China-Europe freight train services has shortened the time fivefold to transport goods between Kazakhstan and Europe, a report by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences said.

China's trade with Kazakhstan expanded nearly 70 times from 1992 to 2021, with trade volume jumping from $368 million to $25.25 billion, data from the General Administration of Customs showed.

Thanks to their complementary trade structure, the two countries saw their trade value soar 19.3 percent on a yearly basis to $17.69 billion in the first seven months of 2022, while China's imports from Kazakhstan surged 38.5 percent year-on-year.

Crude oil, natural gas, minerals and agricultural products are Kazakhstan's main exports to China. China exports mainly manufacturing equipment, steel, vehicles, electronics, textiles, garments and household appliances to Kazakhstan.

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