Kazakhstan and Central Asian countries are strengthening trade and economic relations. Development of the transport and logistics infrastructure is gaining momentum due to implementation of large infrastructure projects.  According to experts, such projects as construction of the railway link "China - Kazakhstan - Turkmenistan - Iran", as well as the launch of the M-39 highway that connects Kazakhstan with Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, will increase the freight turnover among the countries of the region. Kazakhstan and other Central Asian republics have seen a freight turnover growth over the past few years. According to the national company "Kazakh Invest", since the beginning of the year, trade turnover grew by 27% compared to 2016.

MEYRZHAN MAIKENOV, DEPUTY CHAIRMAN, KAZAKH INVEST:

- Over the recent years, the growth of trade turnover has demonstrated good dynamics, since the beginning of the year trade reached two billion. The Central Asian states have a very huge potential with a 52-million-people market, this is three times more than the population in Kazakhstan. If you look at the entire turnover of Central Asia and calculate what share of Kazakhstan is in this commodity turnover – it is 8%, not a small amount.

Central Asian countries import not only flour from Kazakhstan, but also fat and oil products, rice, various food products. Two years ago, the delivery of domestic railway and automotive equipment, locomotives, building materials, paint and varnish products and gypsum products was launched. Experts call Uzbekistan the most promising market for Kazakhstan in the region. It is a dynamically developing market of 32 million people, and according to experts, new opportunities are opening up for domestic businessmen here.

ZHAKSYLYK SABITOV, LEADING EXPERT, INSTITUTE OF WORLD ECONOMY AND POLITICS:

- This year growth of trade turnover between Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan made up 35%. This is in fact is an incredible amount, which shows that there is potential for growth. Also, Kazakhstan is the third trading partner for Uzbekistan, we are a very important partner for them. Investing in Uzbekistan now is very important, because in the next five years this this will allow to benefit economically since the regional economy is growing.

The development of trade with Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan has always been a priority for Kazakhstan. According to experts, in the future, active cooperation can lead to economic prosperity throughout the region.

ZHAKSYLYK SABITOV, LEADING EXPERT, INSTITUTE OF WORLD ECONOMY AND POLITICS:

- Kazakhstan has a pragmatic position. Kazakhstan cooperates with Central Asia purely based on economic Do not pursue any geopolitical ambitions, political goals. He does not want anyone to get involved in big brothers. A really well thought out, rational and pragmatic position, which in principle is approved by the majority of experts.

Kazakhstan continues to increase its exports to Central Asia. As noted in "Kazakh Invest", at present, Kazakhstan occupies a confident sixth place among other importing countries in each Central Asian state. Geographical proximity and good-neighborly relations make Kazakh businessmen more interested in these markets, experts say.

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