Kazakhstan and China have signed 25 agreements worth $23 billion

ASTANA: Kazakhstan’s President confirmed that 25 agreements were signed worth a total of $23 billion during his state visit to China according to the official site of Kazakh President on Tuesday.

Another 20 deals are in the pipeline, Nazarbayev said. The Chinese government did not provide any details on the agreements reached.

As Nazarbayev made clear during a Sino-Kazakhstani business forum that Astana is eager for Beijing to broaden its investment portfolio in the industrialization projects. So far China has invested heavily in Kazakhstan’s energy sector and accounts for around one-quarter of the country’s oil output.

“I believe this visit is a turning point in Sino-Kazakhstani ties,” Nazarbayev said quoted by his office. “For over 20 years we have been actively cooperating with China, predominantly in the energy and natural resources sectors. In the new stage, we are starting to step up cooperation in the manufacturing sectors of the economy, including engineering and the processing of resources.”

In March, China and Kazakhstan signed 33 agreements worth $23.6 billion and covering areas from hydropower to steel, state news agency Xinhua reported at the time.

Kazakhstan, whose economy is flailing under the pressure of falling oil prices, hopes Chinese investments can drive forward its anti-crisis strategy, the industrialization and infrastructure program.

Attraction of investments has become an even greater priority following Kazakhstan’s devaluation of its currency last month, the tenge has since lost some 27 percent of its value.

China has been a major investor in its neighbour’s economy, but Astana would be unwise to expect too much of Beijing. China’s pockets are not as deep as they once were: its economy is slowing, with shares tumbling on the stock market and the authorities forced to devalue the yuan twice last month.