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Kazakh President Touts $23 Billion In Deals With China

Kazakhstan and China signed 25 agreements worth $23 billion, aiming to move cooperation dominated by raw materials to products with greater added value, the Kazakh president's office said on September 1.

China has invested billions in mineral-rich Kazakhstan, mainly in oil and gas, and in infrastructure projects serving the industry.

"I think this visit is a turning point in the Kazakh-Chinese relationship," Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev was reported as saying during a meeting with Chinese businessmen in Beijing, including the chairman of Huawei Corporation and heads of several Chinese development banks.

"For over 20 years we have actively cooperated with China, mainly in the energy and resource-extraction industries. At the new stage, we are beginning to intensify our interaction in the processing sectors of the economy, including mechanical engineering and resource processing," he said.

Kazakhstan's sovereign wealth fund Samruk-Kazyna said it had signed deals worth $5.1 billion with Chinese companies on transport and energy projects, covering the nuclear, metallurgical, and chemical industries.

In March, China and Kazakhstan said they had signed 33 agreements worth $23.6 billion in areas from hydropower to steel.

Based on reporting by Reuters and Interfax