On the afternoon of September 26 local time, visiting Chairman of the Standing Committee of China's National People's Congress Wu Bangguo attended the symposium of Chinese and Kazakh entrepreneurs in Beijing Tower, Astana and delivered an impromptu speech.
In recent years, China-Kazakhstan economic and trade cooperation has grown rapidly and achieved fruitful results. The bilateral trade volume increased on average by 40% annually for 10 consecutive years and hit a record high of US$20.4 billion in 2010. China's cumulative investment in Kazakhstan has reached US$10.6 billion. In Kazakhstan there are about 300 Chinese enterprises registered and having actual operations in oil exploration and development and many other fields. The China-Kazakhstan crude oil and natural gas pipelines and other major cooperation projects have completed and been put into production. The Moinak hydropower plant and the Pavlodar aluminum plant constructed by Chinese enterprises are the largest hydropower plant and the first electrolytic aluminum plant respectively in Kazakhstan since Kazakhstan's independence. The results of such cooperation have brought tangible benefits to the two countries and their people.
After carefully listening to the speeches of entrepreneurs of both countries, Wu Bangguo made an impromptu speech. He said that China and Kazakhstan have not only good political relations but also strong economic complementarities, clear geographical advantages and great potential for cooperation. He hopes the two sides work together to push the bilateral economic and trade cooperation to a larger size, wider fields and a higher level.
He pointed out that energy resources are a key area of China-Kazakhstan cooperation. The major cooperation projects of crude oil and natural gas pipelines are the role model of the bilateral cooperation in energy and mineral resources. To strengthen the bilateral mutually beneficial cooperation in the fields of energy and mineral resources will enable the two countries to complement each other with their advantages and serve the common interests of both. China is willing to continue to conduct strategic cooperation with Kazakhstan in energy and mineral resources on the basis of equality and mutual benefit, deepen the development of oil, natural uranium and other mineral blocks, build and operate oil and gas pipelines and establish a more stable energy partnership for mutual benefits and win-win results.
Talking about the cooperation in the non-resource sectors, Wu noted that China is implementing the 12th Five-Year Plan while Kazakhstan has formulated the National Development Strategy 2010-2020. The confluence of the economic development strategies of both countries presents rare opportunities and huge space for them to expand cooperation. After 30 years of reform and opening up, China has accumulated rich experience in infrastructure, agriculture, high-tech industry and industrial system and built strong capacity. Enterprises of both countries should follow the non-resource cooperation planning signed by the two governments to broaden the practical cooperation in the fields of road and railway construction, petrochemical production and processing, metallurgy, telecommunications equipment supply, construction project contracting and building agricultural demonstration centers, actively explore the mutually beneficial cooperation in new energy, green economy, energy efficiency and other emerging industries and cultivate new highlights of China-Kazakhstan trade and economic cooperation.
He stressed that enterprises are the major market players and investors and the main actors of economic and trade cooperation. Only by stepping up business cooperation can China-Kazakhstan trade and economic cooperation grow big and strong and gain strong vitality. He said that President Hu Jintao, during his visit to Kazakhstan in June this year, proposed the objective together with President Nazarbayev of raising the bilateral trade volume to US$ 40 billion by 2015. The two sides should continue to promote trade and investment facilitation, speed up the signing of short-term labor agreement, amend the agreement on encouraging and protecting mutual investment and create a better environment for the flow of commodities, investment and services into each other's market. Enterprises should also actively fulfill their social responsibilities, do business legally and with credibility, protect the environment and actively participate in the local economic and social development.
Wu attaches great importance to the local cooperation between the two countries. He said that China and Kazakhstan share more than 1,700 km of borderline and have opened 7 trade ports. Being adjacent to and having similar culture with Kazakhstan, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region enjoys unique geographical advantages of conducting economic and trade cooperation with Kazakhstan. The western development strategy and the strategy of supporting Xinjiang's leapfrog development being implemented by China create favorable opportunities for the trade and economic cooperation between Kazakhstan and Xinjiang. As the first cross-border economic cooperation zone between China and its neighboring countries, China-Kazakhstan Khorgos International Border Cooperation Center provides an important platform for the bilateral cooperation, especially at the local level. He hopes the governments, areas and enterprises of the two countries work together to start the operation of Khorgos International Border Cooperation Center at an early date.
He finally said that trade and economic cooperation is the material basis of China-Kazakhstan all-round strategic partnership and an important guarantee for the vitality of bilateral relations. The sound political relations between the two countries should promote their economic and trade relations while the development of economic and trade relations will ultimately enrich the bilateral political relations.
Vice Chairman and Secretary General of the NPC Li Jianguo and Kazakh First Deputy Prime Minister Shukeyev attended the symposium which was co-hosted by the Chinese Ministry of Commerce and the Kazakh Ministry of Industry and New Technology. Chaired by Chinese Vice Minister of Commerce Zhong Shan, the symposium was attended by more than 120 delegates from the business community and governments of the two countries. Executives of CNPC, KMG and other companies addressed the symposium.