China, Kazakhstan to bolster economic, industrial capacity cooperation

Updated: 2015-05-07 17:33


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With a stable political climate, rich resources and improved infrastructure, Kazakhstan has witnessed relatively rapid economic growth over the years. However, a single economic mode and weakened sectors such as light industry, electric machinery and consumption goods have remained its economic disadvantages.

The government of Kazakhstan has been seeking to attract more foreign funds by pushing forward economic transformation and improving the investment environment.

Currently, China's total investment in Kazakhstan has exceeded 26 billion dollars, and Kazakhstan is China's first investment destination in Eurasia.

Now there are more than 700 Chinese-funded companies and China-Kazakhstan joint ventures in Kazakhstan, including the Chinese telecom giant ZTE, telecom equipment and services company Huawei, the Bank of China and the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC). Those enterprises have created tens of thousands of employment opportunities for the local people.

The Central Asian country, which is facing many economic obstacles amid a challenging global economy, has a strong desire to strengthen economic and trade exchanges and industrial capacity cooperation with Asian-Pacific countries, including China. The industrial capacity cooperation between China and Kazakhstan has received a tremendous boost after the Silk Road Economic Belt initiative was unveiled.

The initiative was first proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping during his visit to Kazakhstan in 2013. Aidar Amrebayev, head of the Institute for World Economy and Politics under the Foundation of First President of Kazakhstan, said the initiative will bring opportunities to the country and serve as a positive factor in maintaining regional stability.

Kazakhstan now faces many challenges after joining the Moscow-led Eurasian Economic Union due to Russia's flagging economy and devaluing ruble, the political scientist said. But those difficulties can be overcome by joining the Silk Road Economic Belt initiative.

Amrebayev welcomed and encouraged Chinese enterprises to turn out high-tech products in Kazakhstan, and then export them to European countries.

He also hoped that the initiative will attract more European investment and technology to Kazakhstan.

In late 2014, China and Kazakhstan reached preliminary consensus on a capacity cooperation framework agreement worth more than 14 billion dollars.

The framework agreement, inked during Chinese Premier Li Keqiang's visit to the country, covered infrastructure, highway and housing construction.

The two countries also signed 33 deals in industrial capacity cooperation worth 23.6 billion dollars during Kazakh Prime Minister Karim Masimov's China visit in March this year. The deals cover cooperation on steel, non-ferrous metals, sheet glass, oil refining, hydropower and automobiles.

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