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Kazakhstan turns into logistics hub along Belt and Road
September 21, 2018
Abstract : Proposed five years ago in Kazakhstan, China's Belt and Road Initiative (B&R) has yielded fruitful achievements.
BEIJING, Sept. 21 (Xinhua) -- Proposed five years ago in Kazakhstan, China's Belt and Road Initiative (B&R) has yielded fruitful achievements.
On September 7, the "One Belt, One Road" China-Kazakhstan Intelligence Media Forum took place in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan. On the forum, there is a general consensus among representatives that the cooperation between China and Kazakhstan is emerging as a model of state cooperation under the B&R.
Nowadays, the B&R is enjoying a change towards high quality development. As Kazakhstan is playing a more prominent role as a logistics hub, priority will be given to China-Kazakhstan non-governmental cooperation in the next stage. Great potentials lie in new economic sectors including new energy and high technology.
--- China-Kazakhstan cooperation serves as a model of B&R
In an interview with National Business Daily, Zhang Xiyun, a former Chinese ambassador to Kazakhstan, pointed out that the cooperation between China and Kazakhstan has become an important model for state cooperation under the B&R.
In 2014, Nursultan Nazarbayev, president of Kazakhstan, proposed the synergy of China’s B&R and Kazakhstan's Bright Path economic policy. In 2017, the bilateral trade value between the two countries reached 18 billion U.S. dollars, registering a year-on-year increase of 37.4 percent.
Erlan Tinimbayli Karin, a Kazakh social and political activist, the B&R has not only deepened exchanges and cooperation between China and Kazakhstan in all fields, but also enhanced economic and trade exchanges between Kazakhstan and other Central Asian countries.
He noted that the 934.5-kilometer-long Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan-Iran railway opened to traffic in 2014 and China has contributed a lot to its construction. By 2020, freight volume on the railway line is expected to hit 15 million tonnes, demonstrating Kazakhstan's strength as a railway hub in Central Asian countries.
"The B&R has improved transportation among landlocked countries, shaped more transportation hubs and contributed to the good relationship among Central Asian countries,” said Karin.
In Kazakhstan, after the 1000-kilometer-long Zhezkazgan-Beyneu railway opens to traffic, the goods delivery time from China to the port of Aktau in Kazakhstan will be reduced by three days.
--- Broad prospects in high technology and new energy
Many participants of the forum believed that as China and Kazakhstan keep enhancing cooperation on infrastructure construction as well as oil and gas in the new stage of the B&R, it is necessary to make exploration in more fields. The expansion of non-governmental cooperation will be the key to the further advancement of China-Kazakhstan cooperation.
Wang Wen, executive dean of Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies, Renmin University of China, found that Kazakhstan's export surplus with China has lasted for many years, which is rare in China’s foreign trade, indicating that the way to enhancing China-Kazakhstan commercial ties lies in increasing Kazakhstan’s import from China.
In fact, as early as June 2018, China and Kazakhstan have already signed a new joint statement to boost bilateral trade volume and constantly improve the trade structure.
According to Arman Nurlanovich Satimov, advisor to the chairman of KazEnergy Association, renewable energy is a key area of traditional cooperation between China and Kazakhstan.
"At present, the third Kazakhstan-China oil pipeline has been completed. At the same time, thanks to our efforts in the transformation of industrial bases, we can transport 1.7 million tonnes of light oil commodities to China every year. As a big renewable energy producer, China has seen the extensive use of solar energy, wind energy, and water energy. We hope to team up with China in more specific projects," said him.
It is worth noting that large-scale bidding activities in the renewable energy sector are going ahead in Kazakhstan this year with a total installed capacity of 1 GW. (Edited by Zhang Yuan, [email protected])
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