Outcomes of Belt and Road Initiative’s 10th anniversary summed up in Astana

Kazakhstan and China are aiming to achieve a new record in their bilateral trade volume this year. In seven months alone, the trade turnover between the two states totaled more than $22 billion. By the end of 2023, the parties are expected to surpass the target set by the Heads of the two states in May, which aims to bring Kazakh-Chinese trade up to $40 billion. This was discussed today at a forum commemorating the 10th anniversary of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and the 30th anniversary of China’s diplomatic relations with Central Asian countries. The event brought together politicians, businesspeople, foreign ministers and representatives of international organizations. Thus, former SCO Secretary-General Vladimir Norov noted that over the past three decades, trade between the countries in the region and China has grown a hundredfold to over $70 billion.

“The Central Asian countries play a key role in the successful implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative. Their cooperation with China holds great significance for its full realization. These countries have significant transit potential, and their geographical location makes them vital links in the supply chain connecting China, Europe, Russia, the Middle East, and South Asia. Thanks to its central position in Eurasia, Kazakhstan is a key transportation hub along the routes linking Europe, Russia and China,” Norov said.

Overall, 152 countries and 32 international organizations have signed over 200 documents on joint cooperation within the Belt and Road Initiative, which unites nations and connects continents. Every participant in this large-scale project has felt its positive outcomes and strong powerful multiplier effect, including Kazakhstan. 

“The relationship between Kazakhstan and China is characterized by a longstanding strategic partnership, representing the highest level of cooperation between our countries. During this time, we have established a robust framework for industrial cooperation in various sectors, identifying a range of interesting investment projects. There are more than 50 such projects, and as of today, about half of them have been implemented or are currently in progress. Examples include the reconstruction of the refinery in Shymkent and the establishment of the new Kazbitum enterprise in Aktau. There are many such examples, highlighting the significant work accomplished over the past 10 years,” said Aidar Amrebayev, Director of the Center for Political Studies.