While on an official visit to Beijing, Kazakhstan’s President Kassym-Zhomart Tokayev said that China has invested $20 billion into the Central Asia energy giant since the collapse of the Soviet Union in December 1991, making the Chinese government one of Kazakhstan’s largest foreign trade and economic partners.

“In 2018, trade between our countries grew by 11.4% and amounted to $12 billion. Over the years of Independence, China has invested about $20 billion into Kazakhstan. We continue to have an opportunity to further reveal the huge potential of the business and investment partnership of the two countries,” Tokayev said.

Tokayev called on Chinese businessmen to more actively use the stock exchange of the Astana International Financial Center, noting that it is a unique institution for the region where more than 250 companies are already registered.

“We are also interested in creating joint innovative enterprises, technology parks, and IT centres with Chinese companies. An IT technology park known as Astana Hub has opened and is actively developing in such areas as Big Data, the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, cloud technology, and supercomputers” said Tokayev when discussing Kazakhstan’s participation in China’s “one belt, one road” project.

In the agricultural sphere, Tokayev added, “Kazakhstan is one of the top 10 world exporters of high-quality wheat. Last year, wheat exports to China reached 550,000 tonnes. We could increase these volumes to 2 million tonnes. Export supplies of Kazakh salt to international markets are also increasing. We are ready to supply China with up to 1000,000 tonnes of salt every year. In addition, we are ready to supply dairy products, poultry, beef, lamb, pork, as well as flour, cereals, legumes, and oilseeds to the Chinese market. We intend to increase the production and export of organic food to China.”

During his two-day visit to China, Tokayev also held talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Prime Minister Li Keqiang, and other members of the Chinese political elite and members of the country’s business circles.