Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev’s three-day state visit to China starting on June 7 will further promote political dialogue, enhance economic partnership and consolidate the good-neighborly relationship between the two countries, a senior Kazakh diplomat said.
The visit will help advance integration of Kazakhstan’s “Bright Path” development strategy with the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative, expand financial and trade cooperation and boost cross-border transport, said Shakhrat Nuryshev, Kazakh ambassador to China, in an interview with China Daily.
Hailing President Xi Jinping’s “historic” state visit to Kazakhstan last year, the ambassador said the two leaders charted the course for development.
Bilateral trade reached $4 billion in the first quarter of this year, a 23.4 percent year-on-year increase, according to the General Administration of Customs.
“China has become one of Kazakhstan’s most important partners in foreign direct investment,” Nuryshev said.
There exists great potential to expand the partnership, he added.
“The priority will be to carry forward Belt and Road cooperation and elevate potential cross-border transport capacity,” he said.
An expressway linking China’s logistic center in the eastern China city of Lianyungang and a dry port in Horgos, in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, which borders Kazakhstan, is part of the two countries’ expanding Belt and Road cooperation.
Both cities are key hubs of the Europe-bound China Railway Express and the New Eurasian Land Bridge.
Cargo containers transported en route to Kazakhstan by China-Europe freight train services almost double each year, going from 47,400 TEUs in 2015 to 104,600 TEUs in 2016 and 201,000 last year, the ambassador said.
The number is expected to reach 2 million TEUs by 2020, he added.
The logistics network between China and Kazakhstan, and even the whole Central Asia, has been built up, Nuryshev said, and the two countries are now working on the communication network.
As they integrate a mutual development strategy, the two countries should cooperate in e-commerce, IT and telecommunications and intensify cooperation in transportation, logistics and customs, Nuryshev said.
“The leaders of China and Kazakhstan share a similar development strategy. Both are looking to the future and want to increase their own countries advantages in the world,” he said.
Also, the two countries are in synergy in geological advantages: China can have easy access to the EU countries through Kazakhstan, while Kazakhstan needs China to access the Asia-Pacific, he said.