China, Kyrgyzstan agree BRI key to bilateral ties, regional cooperation

BISHKEK, June 13 (Xinhua) -- Beijing and Bishkek agreed that the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), through implementation of major projects, is of key significance to bilateral ties and regional cooperation, according to a joint statement issued by the two sides on Thursday.

The statement on further deepening the China-Kyrgyzstan comprehensive strategic partnership was released as Chinese President Xi Jinping is paying a state visit to the Central Asian country, where he will also attend the 19th Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit.

The two sides noted that there is great potential for cooperation to dock the China-proposed BRI with Kyrgyzstan's National Development Strategy 2018-2040, adding that they will look for more overlapping interests and realize common development based on the principle of mutual benefits and win-win outcomes, according to the statement.

Both China and Kyrgyzstan spoke highly of the Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation held in Beijing in April, and are willing to follow the agreement reached during the forum to promote high-quality development of the BRI, said the statement, adding that the Kyrgyz side believes the notion of building a community with a shared future for mankind is of epoch-making importance.

The two sides pledged to explore potential for cooperation, further expand trade, and optimize trade structure and procedures within the framework of the inter-governmental commission on trade and economic cooperation, so as to boost a balanced growth of bilateral trade.

They also agreed to promote the exchanges between the enterprises of the two nations on such platforms as the China International Import Expo and the China-Eurasia Expo.

On transportation cooperation, the two countries agreed to step up cross-border and transit transportation capacity, and fully tap the potential of the transportation capabilities of the highways in China, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan so as to create sound conditions for bilateral and regional economic and trade development. They also agreed to keep communicating with each other on pushing forward the project of the China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan railway.

To boost bilateral agriculture cooperation, the two countries, said the statement, agreed to set up a cooperation platform, and expand cooperation in technology demonstration, veterinarian, animal quarantine, agricultural machinery and training, adding that they encourage the companies of the two countries to conduct cooperation in areas like seed breeding, agricultural product processing and water saving technology.

The Chinese side welcomes more quality and green agricultural exports from Kyrgyzstan, and is willing to work with the country on the related issues concerning access.

As for cooperation in investment and finance, the two sides agreed to forge ahead with bilateral cooperation in settlement in local currencies, set up task forces on investment and industries within the framework of the inter-governmental trade and economic cooperation commission, encourage their respective firms to invest in the other country, and improve investment environment.

They also vowed to protect legitimate rights of citizens and legal persons of the other country in their respective borders with concrete measures based on their laws and bilateral treaties, said the statement.

Also in the statement, the two sides pledged to strengthen cooperation at local levels, as well as in such areas as commerce and tourism, noting that they will consider taking further measures on visa facilitation.