June 24, 2008

Kazakh-Chinese Trade Could Reach $15 Bln Per Year in Two Years – Kazakh Fm

ASTANA. June 24 (Interfax) - Kazakh-Chinese trade could reach $15 billion per year in 2008 - 2009, Kazakh Foreign Minister Marat Tazhin said.

"The presidents of our states set the task of reaching $15 billion in trade by 2015. But we can say that according to expert assessments this figure is likely to be reached earlier, probably in 2008 - 2009," Tazhin told journalists after talks with his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi in Astana on Tuesday.

The talks were "fruitful and substantial," Tazhin said, adding that a memorandum of cooperation between the foreign ministries in 2008 - 2010 was signed.

"It is for the first time that a rather extensive memorandum, which allows us to systematize various issues of interagency cooperation was signed," he said.

Much attention at the talks was paid to the implementation of joint projects, he said. "There is a number of large projects that should be implemented in the near future, in particular an electrolytic plant in Pavlodar, the Moinakskaya Hydro Power Plant, and the Zhanazholsky gas processing plant," Tazhin said.

The talks were "positive, constructive and productive," Yang, who is on his first official visit to Kazakhstan, said

The Chinese minister agreed that $15 billion in trade could be reached ahead of the deadline. "I think that it is likely that we will reach this figure by the end of the year," the Chinese minister said.

According to the Kazakh Foreign Ministry, Kazakh-Chinese trade reached $4.8 billion in January - April 2008, which is one third higher than a year ago. Bilateral trade exceeded $11 billion in January-October 2007, a 65% increase compared to the same period in 2006.

China invested about $9 billion in the Kazakh economy for the years of bilateral cooperation.

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