September 1, 2015 / 1:06 PM / 2 years ago

Kazakh leader says $23 billion in economic deals agreed with China

ALMATY, Sept 1 (Reuters) - Kazakhstan and China have signed 25 agreements worth $23 billion, aiming to move cooperation dominated by raw materials to products with greater added value, the official site of Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev said on Tuesday.

Kazakhstan, a Central Asian nation of 17.5 million, is the second-largest post-Soviet oil-producer after Russia. China has invested billions in mineral-rich Kazakhstan, mainly in oil and gas, and in infrastructure projects serving the industry.

“We have actively cooperated with China for more than 20 years, mainly in the energy sector and in extracting other raw materials,” Nazarbayev’s site (www.akorda.kz) quoted him as saying during a meeting with Chinese businessmen in Beijing.

“Yesterday during our constructive talks with President Xi Jinping we agreed to create 45 joint facilities, and agreements were signed on 25 of them worth a total of $23 billion.”

He gave no details. The Kazakh Investments and Development Ministry declined to comment. The Chinese government did not provide any details on the agreements reached.

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. (Reporting by Dmitry Solovyov; Additional reporting by Raushan Nurshayeva in Astana and Ben Blanchard in Beijing)

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