Kazakhstan’s participation in major international and infrastructure projects will allow the country to strengthen its positions in the region and significantly increase its export potential. A vivid example is Silk Road Economic Belt project. According to experts, interaction as part of this Chinese program will open new opportunities for Kazakhstan’s economic growth. Implementation of 51 projects is planned as part of cooperation between Kazakhstan and China. Most of them are focused in the energy sector, agro-industrial complex, manufacturing industry and transport logistics. This year 12 projects are expected to be implemented. The projects include construction of a plant for the production of polypropylene in Atyrau region, copper smelting production in East Kazakhstan region and modernization of the oil refinery in South Kazakhstan region.

NAILYA ALMUKHAMEDOVA, SENIOR STAFF, KAZAKHSTAN INSTITUTE FOR STRATEGIC STUDIES:

The total cost of these 12 projects is $10 billion. They will be the main drivers of mutual cooperation between Kazakhstan and China.

The most important point of contact between the two strategic programs –Kazakhstan’s Nurly Zhol and China’s Silk Road Economic Belt is the development of transit transport corridors and the creation of logistics centers. According to experts, there are specific results in this cooperation in Kazakhstan. Last year, construction of Kazakhstan’s section of the road “Western Europe - Western China” was completed. The ferry complex was put into operation in the port of Kuryk, focused on transshipment of grain, oil products and other cargo to the Caspian region states. In addition, three dry cargo terminals were launched in the seaport of Aktau.

NAILYA ALMUKHAMEDOVA, SENIOR STAFF, KAZAKHSTAN INSTITUTE FOR STRATEGIC STUDIES:

All these measures give opportunity for Kazakhstan to increase its transport flows and potential. If earlier, for example, goods were transported only via Kazakhstan, then to Russia and then to Europe, now we have new alternative ways. In particular, development of the Trans-Caspian international transport route that runs across Kazakhstan, Aktau port, then by via Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway to Turkey, or Europe.

According to foreign experts, Kazakhstan plays an important connecting role between the East and the West in the project Silk Road Economic Belt. The famous writer and the journalist of the authoritative publication Forbes Wade Shepard stresses the importance of the project Khorgos - Eastern Gate. According to the writer, today it is a major economic zone, where containers from across the Eurasian region are being reloaded. In the future, dry port can become a powerful production epicenter, the analyst believes.

WADE SHEPARD, WRITER, JOURNALIST:

In the middle the Khorgos gate special economic zone, which includes the state where there are $200 million dry port, which is one of the most advanced. The new Silk Road is the best example of modern dry port, we have Silk Road nowhere. Surrounding dry ports supply the special economic zone with the help of manufacturing, enterprises. Private investors of China already invested. Full investment $600 million into manufacture make an epicenter of this place.

Experts emphasize that due to the active development of transport and logistics potential Kazakhstan is becoming more attractive to foreign investors, not only to Chinese ones, but also to Russian, Iranian and European investors. As a result, this will allow Kazakhstan to become transitory as well as the largest business hub. 

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