Kazakhstan: Locals will get 95% of jobs created by joint projects with China — official

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NUR-SULTAN (TCA) — Up to 20 thousand new jobs will be created as part of the implementation of joint projects with China in Kazakhstan, 95% of which will be occupied by Kazakhstanis. The remaining 5% are specialists from different countries, including Canada, China and other countries, Kazakh Deputy Prime Minister Zhenis Kassymbek said at a press conference in the Government on September 5, the press service of the Prime Minister of Kazakhstan reported.

According to the deputy prime minister, of the proposed investment projects, priority is given to high-tech projects with a high Kazakhstan content and ensuring maximum job creation for citizens of Kazakhstan. Kassymbek emphasized that the joint Kazakh-Chinese projects are new and will be implemented in the next 5-6 years.

“There are claims that these plants, new projects are dirty, that these are old projects that are being transferred to Kazakhstan [from China]. I want to officially declare that there is not a single old plant transferred to Kazakhstan. All these projects are new,” said Kassymbek.

According to him, just recently, an alternative power plant (solar power) was opened in the Kapshagai region, where 30 people work — all are citizens of Kazakhstan.

“A completely new production is alternative energy. We will move towards it. In Kazakhstan, by the end of the year, 1,000 megawatts of wind and sun energy will be produced. I want to emphasize that these are new technologies, there are no ‘dirty’ enterprises or old enterprises that are transferred from one country to another. In general, we plan to create up to 20 thousand new jobs within these enterprises,” the deputy prime minister said.

He said that 15 Kazakhstan-Chinese projects have been implemented so far, and five more will be implemented before the end of the year.

“Over the past year, the share of Chinese investments has remained at the same level — 5-6% of the total. It has not changed,” he said, adding that projects are being implemented in areas such as engineering, industry, transport, agriculture, and energy.

Kassymbek also said that not a single plant that does not meet environmental requirements will be built in Kazakhstan.

This comes amid the rising anti-Chinese sentiment in Kazakhstan.

Earlier this week, protesters in the western city of Zhanaozen and several other Kazakh cities gathered to pressure President Kasym-Zhomart Tokayev to cancel a planned trip to neighboring China over perceived corruption and mounting Chinese influence through financial assistance.

They demanded a stop to “Chinese expansion” through factories and other projects in oil-rich Kazakhstan.

Tokayev is scheduled to pay an official two-day visit to Beijing starting on September 11.

Sergey Kwan

TCA