Kazakhstan trade Barriers
By QIN JIZE in Astana and ZHAO YINAN in Beijing (China Daily)
Premier Li Keqiang and Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev (center), Kazakh Prime Minister Karim Masimov (second left), Tajik Prime Minister Kokhir Rasulzoda (second right), Kyrgyz Prime Minister Almazbek Atambayev (first left) and Uzbek First Deputy Prime Minister Rustam Azimov (first right) attend the 13th prime ministersâ€™ meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation in Astana, Kazakhstan, on Monday. PANG XINGLEI / XINHUA
Premier: Country hopes to help bloc improve their economies
China proposed to help Shanghai Cooperation Organisation countries upgrade their resource-based economies with advanced industrial equipment and financial support to hedge against the impact of plunging oil prices and geopolitical uncertainties.
The organization's six members - China, Russia and four Central Asian countries - signed deals to deepen cooperation in customs, law enforcement and a multilateral economic and trade outline on Monday, following the 13th prime ministers' meeting of the bloc in Astana, Kazakhstan.
Premier Li Keqiang called upon the organization to cut trade barriers, improve the efficiency of customs and open market access among the organization's members. He also announced the start of the selection of projects for the $5 billion China-Eurasia cooperation fund.
"China is willing to cooperate with all the members in the organization in the same way as we are working with Kazakhstan, " Li told government heads at the meeting on Monday. "The state members are in a transitional period to sustain growth while restructuring the economy. We'd invest in steel, cement, electricity and the deep-processing of resources to help local economies while transferring China's overcapacity."
The regional bloc, founded by China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, contains three-fifths of the Eurasian continent and one-fourth of the world's population. Afghanistan, India, Iran, Mongolia and Pakistan are observers, and Belarus, Turkey and Sri Lanka are dialogue partners.
Total economic output of the region took up 14.9 percent of the world economy, compared with just 4.8 percent in 2001. China's trade with the other five state members jumped from $12.1 billion in 2001 to $130 billion dollars in 2013.