Chinese Premier Li Keqiang shakes hands with Kazakh Prime Minister Karim Masimov at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on December 14, 2015. [Photo: Xinhua]
Premier Li Keqiang held talks with his Kazakh counterpart Karim Massimov in Beijing on Monday, vowing to step up bilateral cooperation in industrial capacity, agricultural products, energy and regional connectivity.
Li recalled his visit to Kazakhstan last year, during which he reached consensus with President Nazarbayev and Massimov on bilateral production capacity cooperation.
He said capacity cooperation had improved over the past year, citing a recently signed agreement on capacity and investment cooperation, and the establishment of a capacity cooperation fund.
Among the 52 bilateral "early-harvest projects," those related to automobile assembly and polypropylene had already been launched, while construction on a light railway transportation system in Astana will start by the year-end, and a dozen more projects in steel, smelting and cement are expected to kick off next year, Li said.
China Railway Group (CRG) will help build the 22.4 km light railway in Astana, which will have 18 stations and one depot, according to the bilateral deal signed in May this year.
Li said China hopes to explore a capacity cooperation model with Kazakhstan covering investment, production, sale and service.
The China-Kazakhstan capacity cooperation fund will be linked to the Silk Road Fund, he added.
Li urged both countries to cement trust and combine their development strategies.
Massimov hailed the progress of bilateral capacity cooperation as "remarkable," adding that his country highly values the opportunities that would result from China's Silk Road Economic Belt, "Made in China 2025" and "Internet Plus" strategies.
He called for stronger cooperation in such areas as gas exploration, nuclear power, infrastructure, finance, agriculture, aviation and environmental protection.
After their talks, Li and Massimov witnessed the signing of a series of cooperation deals ranging from production capacity, finance and energy to customs, quality control and tourism.
Massimov is in China for an official visit. He will attend the 14th prime ministers' meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, which opened on Monday in central China's Zhengzhou City.
He will also attend the second World Internet Conference in Wuzhen in east China's Zhejiang Province on Dec. 16-18.