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Kazak president has high praise for BRI

Visiting Kazak President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev hailed the Belt and Road Initiative on Wednesday as a way to a promising future, saying the modern Silk Road has restructured the global economy.

Tokayev, who kicked off his first state visit to China on Tuesday since taking office in June, made the remarks during a speech at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing.

Thanks to the BRI, 11 cross-border railways and highways through Kazakhstan have facilitated transportations across the Eurasian continent, and enabled Chinese commodities to reach consumers in Europe, the Eurasian Economic Union and the Near East three to four times faster than six years ago, the Kazak president said.

He said China and Kazakhstan have started 15 projects on joint building of the Belt and Road with a value of $4 billion. "All the projects help create new job opportunities and foster new enterprises that produce high value-added products, develop renewable energy and promote new technologies in agriculture and manufacturing."

The two countries are also actively pushing for cooperation on refined products in the areas of oil, petroleum, natural gas, nuclear energy and mining, Tokayev said.

The president called China "a friendly neighbor and reliable partner", and said the Kazakhstan-China relationship has become a good example of state-to-state relations.

"The important thing is there remains nothing that impedes the development of bilateral relations and further cooperation between the two countries," Tokayev said, adding the two nations will sign a joint statement to further consolidate and deepen their comprehensive strategic partnership during his visit.

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