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Sino-Kazakh ties to benefit from Belt & Road plan


05-07-2015 14:32 BJT

Full coverage: Xi visits Russia, Kazakstan and Belarus

Many in Kazakhstan have expressed high expectations of what Xi Jinping's trip will mean for future economic ties between the two countries.

When Chinese President Xi Jinping talked about building a modern day silk road during his last visit to Kazakhstan in 2013, the vision was warmly welcomed. But few at that time had imagined that the president's proposal would turn into numerous projects in a little more than a year.

Such efficiency has drawn commendations from Kazakh economists.

"President Xi Jinping is an honourable leader for proposing the Silk Road Economic Belt. This important initiative will bring prosperity to people along the covered economies and the Eurasian region as a whole," said Azamat Nurseitov, deputy director of Corporate University Samruk Kazyna.

Kazakhstan is hoping that closer economic cooperation with neighbouring China can help the country develop. One example of such cooperation is in Khorgos, a border city between the two countries.

In 2012, a project was set up in the city aimed at trade facilitation.

This year, the Kazakh government is planning to allocate about 67 million US dollars to build better infrastructure at the port. The effort is expected to expand the current logistics volume by eight fold.

"This is part of a plan to build a special economic zone at Khorgos. We hope that the plan be carried out soon," Azamat Nurseitov said.
Kazakhstan's infrastructure systems are still relatively underdeveloped 20 years after the country gained independence.

Experts say a series of projects from cross-border natural gas channels, railway lines and a Sino-Kazakh logistics port in Lianyungang, China, are expected to inject more vitality into the Kazakh economy.

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