Tokayev Celebrates Kazakh-Chinese Economic Ties at Boao Forum

Kazakh President Kasym-Jomart Tokayev was feted as guest of honour at the 23rd Boao Asian Forum (BFA) : “Asia and the World: Common Challenges, Common Responsibility.”

He was joined at the opening ceremony of the plenary session in the Chinese province of Hainan by: Chairman of the BFA Board of Directors Ban Ki-moon, Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress Zhao Leji, President of Nauru David Adang, Prime Minister of Sri Lanka Dinesh Gunawardena, Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Dominica Roosevelt Skerrit, Chairman of the international non-governmental organization “Council of Elders” Mary Robinson, Secretary General of the OECD Matthias Kormann, and Director General of the UN’s World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Daren Tang.

In his address to the forum, Tokayev made reference to the fact that against the backdrop of escalating world conflicts, there is tension in international trade and an assumption that the growth rate of global GDP will be the lowest in the past 30 years. However, Asia’s role in this sphere is increasing, and the region is projected to provide 60 percent of global GDP growth this year. Global trade giants located in Asia are now attracting more and more foreign investment on account of Asia being home to the world’s leading technology centres, responsible for 70 percent of patent developments.

“Of the expected $30 trillion growth in middle-class consumption by 2030, only $1 trillion is expected to come from Western economies. Collectively, all these factors point to the so-called ‘Asian Renaissance,” stated Tokayev.

He then emphasized the role of the current forum to demonstrate the advanced achievements of the region: “Kazakh-Chinese relations are based on an effective partnership that has made Kazakhstan China’s main trade and economic partner in Central Asia. Kazakhstan accounts for half of Chinese trade and investment in the region. Last year, trade turnover between Kazakhstan and China reached a historic record of $41 billion. In 2023, the volume of cargo traffic between our countries increased by 22% to almost 30 million tons.”

The Kazakh president also mentioned that 80 percent of all land transportation between China and Europe is carried out through Kazakhstan, noting the role of the “One Belt, One Road” project in the creation of modern multimodal, environmentally safe and sustainable infrastructure in the region.

With regard to the economic success of the Kazakh Republic, he drew attention to the fact that the country’s economic growth of 5.1 percent last year almost exceeds the projected growth rate of the world economy twofold. Plans were outlined for further developments in the field with reference to an open-door policy, abundant resources, and liberal market reforms, aimed to create a favourable ground for mutually beneficial cooperation with China.

Tokayev reported that his country is becoming increasingly attractive to investors due to measures to improve the fiscal and monetary system, market reforms, and a price-competitive economy. He also called on the world community to ensure equal opportunities for all countries: “The huge Asian bond market with its huge market capitalization has high potential to support many development projects. The Eurasian Development Bank is planning to carry out the first issue of panda bonds as a new financial investment instrument. It may become critical for financing global infrastructure projects.”

On the issue of expanding transit and transportation cooperation between Asian countries, based on both the expansion of existing routes and the creation of new alternative ones, he opined, ” The Trans-Caspian International Transport Route (TITR) plays a special role here, as the volume of cargo transported along the TITR doubled last year, amounting to three million tons.”

Noting the important role of information technologies for the development of the world economy, Tokayev voiced his support of the Global Initiative on Artificial Intelligence Management put forward by China.

Furthermore, the President cited the extraction of critical raw materials as another promising area of cooperation, saying, “Rare earth metals have become a critical component for a wide range of technologies. They are essential for achieving a zero-emissions balance, as well as in strategic sectors such as industry, digital technology, space and defense. We continue to work with international partners on the most efficient ways to develop our large deposits of uranium, lithium, titanium and other rare-earth elements.”

Concluding his speech, Tokayev once again emphasized the role of Asia in the global economy and hailing the Boao Forum for Asia and the Astana International Forum (AIF) key platforms for fruitful dialogue, invited those present to a gathering of the latter scheduled for 13-14 June 13-14 this year.


Times of Central Asia