China pledges to boost China-Central Asia economic, trade cooperation

A view of the Bell Tower in Xi'an city, Northwest China's Shaanxi province. (Photo: VCG)

BEIJING, May 11 (Xinhua) -- China will take the upcoming China-Central Asia Summit as an opportunity and work with the five Central Asian countries to push economic and trade cooperation to a new level, the country's commerce ministry said Thursday.

Economic and trade cooperation between China and the five Central Asian countries, namely Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, has achieved tangible results since the establishment of diplomatic ties more than 30 years ago, Shu Jueting, spokesperson for the Ministry of Commerce, told a press conference.

The country's trade with the five countries reached 70 billion U.S. dollars in 2022 and recorded a year-on-year expansion of 22 percent in the first quarter of this year, Shu said.

The trade structure has also improved over the years. Last year, China's imports of agricultural, energy and mineral products from these countries jumped over 50 percent from a year ago, while its exports of mechanical and electronic products to them increased by 42 percent, according to Shu.

The spokesperson also said that investment and cooperation have benefited all sides. As of the end of March, China's direct investment stock in the five countries stood at over 15 billion dollars.

China has made continued efforts to promote industrial upgrading, connectivity and the well-being of people in these countries, with a batch of cooperation projects launched in fields such as infrastructure, oil and gas exploration, and the digital economy, Shu said.

The China-Central Asia Summit is set to take place in Xi'an, Shaanxi Province, on May 18 and 19.