Kazakh Minister of Trade and Integration, Arman Shakkaliyev, presented Kazakhstan’s trade opportunities at the eighth Belt and Road Summit in Hong Kong on Sept. 13, reported the Prime Minister’s press service.
Identifying China as Kazakhstan’s second-largest trading partner, Shakkaliyev cited a trade turnover of $24.2 billion for 2022. He expressed the intention to boost non-oil exports to China by $1 billion through 135 different commodities.
The minister also noted a 91% increase in trade between Kazakhstan and Hong Kong, amounting to $51.8 million in the same year, with the aim to further expand exports to the special administrative region through 100 commodity items, valued at over $600 million.
Highlighting the mutual opening of markets and the development of supply chains as the main pillar of international trade, Shakkaliyev shared Kazakhstan’s large-scale plans to become a major transport hub connecting Europe and Asia.
He mentioned several prerequisites for this goal, involving an annual increase in container rail transportation on the China-Europe-China route through Kazakhstan, with the Khorgos – Eastern Gate special economic zone fully completed on the Chinese border.
The minister stressed the importance of a logistics terminal, a key point for consolidating cargo flows to and from Kazakhstan, established in the port of Lianyungang in collaboration with Chinese partners in 2014.
He further mentioned the ongoing construction of the Kazakhstan Temir Zholy National Railway Company’s terminal, which began operations at Xi’an dry port in May.
He added that Kazakhstan is developing high-quality highways that facilitate efficient north-south and east-west transit, extending from the center of the country to its south, east, and west.
“With great investment potential, Kazakhstan is ready to work actively with foreign partners in manufacturing and light industries, new high technologies, green energy, infrastructure, and finance,” the minister concluded.
China’s Belt and Road international initiative, which marked its tenth anniversary this year, prioritizes barrier-free trade, investment, and trade-economic cooperation principles. The initiative involves 150 countries along its route and over 32 international organizations, aiming to enhance existing corridors and develop new trade and transport routes.