Shakhrat Nuryshev, Kazakhstan’s Ambassador says two nations have similar strategic guidelines, adding that eastern neighbour brings strength and impetus to global growth

As China’s neighbour and strategic partner, Kazakhstan appreciates China’s achievements in fields such as social welfare, improvement of people’s lives and poverty elimination, Shakhrat Nuryshev, Kazakhstan’s Ambassador to China, said earlier this year.

In these aspects, leaders from China and Kazakhstan have similar strategic guidelines, ensuring all people’s well-being is fundamental for a country’s prosperity in the 21st century, he said.

Nur Otan, the ruling party of Kazakhstan, held its 18th national congress in February and passed its development guidelines for the period before 2030.

The guidelines include new measures and priorities, such as guaranteeing people’s high living standards, increasing their income and helping the low-income group, as well as improving education and healthcare, according to the Ambassador.

China has accumulated rich and successful experience when dealing with the similar issues, Nuryshev said, adding that he paid attention to “Chinese solutions” to the issues during this year’s two sessions in March.

“We think highly of China’s Persistent efforts in poverty alleviation,” Nuryshev said.

He said China lifted more than 10 million people out of poverty every year in recent years. He said China did not enjoy the results alone but shared its successful experience and stories with other countries and regions on reducing poverty.

The Belt & Road Initiative, which was proposed by the Chinese government in 2013, also won praise from Nuryshev & he said it significantly increased liberalisation of international trade and investment.

Nuryshev said the initiative has won support from the majority of countries on the five continents and China has signed cooperation deals with more than 150 countries and international organisations. Trade-in goods between China and other countries and regions involved in the initiative have reached $6 trillion in total to date.

It, beyond doubt, will help people from related countries and regions to gain welfare, Nuryshev said

He said Kazakhstan is an important hub among different continents, countries and regions and the country’s new economic policy, called Nurly Zhol or “bright path”, and the BRI is being connected smoothly.

In total, 55 projects worth more than $27 billion are being implemented under the frameworks of BRI and Nurly Zhol, which will help fund companies that make high value-added products and create jobs.

“I think the connection between the Nurly Zhol policy and the BRI not only helps increase the two countries’ economic and trade relations but also will promote such relations between Europe and Asia,” he said.

The two countries’ trade cooperation has surged and China is among Kazakhstan’s largest trade partners. According to statistics from China’s General Administration of Customs, trade volume between the two countries amounted to about $20 billion in 2018.

Apart from traditional metal, ferroalloy and oil products, the trade on natural gas, agricultural products and livestock products kept increasing in recent years.

Nuryshev said Kazakhstan will build closer trade relations with China as the latter further opens up its consumer market and the demand of Chinese people for high-quality and green products increases.

Transportation and logistics have also become important cooperation fields of the two countries. The volume of Chinese containers transported via Kazakhstan to Russia and other countries in Europe and Central Asia continuously increased.

In 2018, the container freight transported through two railway ports on the border of China and Kazakhstan reached 13.9 million metric tons, a year-on-year rise of 38 percent.

As people-to-people exchanges between the countries deepened year by year, they regularly organised performances of symphony orchestras, operas and ballet. Filmmakers from Kazakhstan actively participated in film festivals held in China and often won awards at the events.

Nuryshev said the Chinese people have been increasingly interested in Kazakhstan’s language, culture and history. Several Chinese higher-learning institutions have set up Kazakhstan centres and Kazakh departments. Zhejiang University of Finance and Economics established a Kazakhstan economic research centre last year.

As China furthers its opening-up, Nuryshev said he believes the Chinese economy can maintain steady development and has huge potential despite the backdrop of world economic instability.

China will import commodities and services worth more than $40 trillion in the next 15 years. It will definitely bring new and strong impetus to global economic growth, Nuryshev said.

He said the measures the Chinese government has taken in recent years suggest the country has well prepared for attracting foreign capital and increasing imports and a good example is the China International Import Expo held in Shanghai.

“Kazakhstan will actively participate in the expo every year and we hope to increasingly boost the quality of products imported to China,” he said.

The Chinese market will stimulate production and development of agricultural and high value-added products in Kazakhstan, Nuryshev said, adding that the country will promote export of agricultural and animal products to China, such as cereals, vegetable oil, flax, soybean and meat.