Xi lauds partnerships with Central Asian nations

Source: China Daily / Updated: 2023-02-28

President Xi Jinping underlined on Thursday the importance of industry and investment cooperation between China and Central Asian countries, saying that such partnership will help safeguard the stability of industrial and supply chains in the region.

Xi made the remark in a congratulatory letter sent to the China + Central Asia Industry and Investment Cooperation Forum, which opened on Thursday in Qingdao, Shandong province. The two-day forum was jointly organized by the National Development and Reform Commission and the Shandong provincial government.

Xi commended the strategic partnerships between China and the five countries of Central Asia — Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. He said that they have developed a new path featuring good neighborliness, friendship and win-win cooperation, and set an example for a new type of international relations.

Deepening industry and investment cooperation between China and the five countries will promote regional industrial development, increase their engagement in the world's economic activities and boost common prosperity, he said.

In the letter, Xi expressed China's willingness to share with the Central Asian countries its huge market, complete industrial system and advanced technologies.

China stands ready to deepen pragmatic cooperation with the five Central Asian countries to achieve mutual benefit and win-win results, work together to promote high-quality development of the regional economy and build a closer community with a shared future, he added.

In January last year, Xi chaired a virtual summit with the presidents of the Central Asian countries to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and the five nations.

During that summit, Xi proposed establishing a mechanism for dialogue about e-commerce cooperation between China and the five countries and holding the C+C5 Industry and Investment Cooperation Forum.

Over the past three decades, relations between China and the five countries have grown with tangible achievements, particularly in the areas of the economy, trade and investment and in the joint building of the Belt and Road.

Trade between China and the five countries has grown more than a hundredfold in the past 30 years, and China's direct investment in the five countries exceeded $14 billion, according to the Ministry of Commerce.

In a speech delivered via video link to the opening of the forum, First Deputy Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Roman Sklyar said the forum provides an effective platform for discussing key issues related to long-term and sustainable cooperation on industries and investment.

China and Kazakhstan are pioneers in production capacity and investment cooperation, and the cooperation list includes 52 projects worth a total of more than $20 billion, Sklyar said.

As a key country engaging in Belt and Road cooperation with China, Kazakhstan is willing to carry out practical cooperation in developing a green, digital and healthy Silk Road, he added.

Lin Nianxiu, deputy head of the National Development and Reform Commission, the country's top economic regulator, said that looking ahead, China is willing to work with the five countries to optimize the regional industrial cooperation environment, boost infrastructure connectivity, expand cooperation in key industries such as energy, resources, agriculture and equipment manufacturing, tap cooperation potential in the fields of new energy and environmental protection, and cooperate on the digital economy.