Wednesday, July 25, 2012 -
China urged Kazakhstan Tuesday to streamline visa procedures to provide speedier access for Chinese workers needed to implement joint projects in Central Asia’s largest economy.
The call came from Chinese Vice-Minister of Commerce Jiang Yaopin during a trade and economic cooperation meeting in the Kazakh capital Astana.
"My ministry is actively promoting the intergovernmental agreement with Kazakhstan on temporary employment," the Xinhua news agency reported Jiang as saying.
Chinese firms in recent years have had to navigate "complicated and time consuming procedures as well as high costs of obtaining Kazakhstan's entry visas and labor permits,” said the official.
The barriers have impeded the realization of joint projects.
Jiang reminded participants gathered of the sub-committee on Trade and Economic Cooperation of the Kazakh-Chinese Cooperation Committee that the presidents of Kazakhstan and China had set a bilateral trade target of $40 billion by 2015.
“According to China’s statistics, trade turnover last year reached $24.95 billion, 22 percent higher than in 2010,” the Tengrinnews.kz news agency quoted the vice minister as saying.
Around 6,200 Chinese specialists and workers are needed in Kazakhstan over the next two years to implement three joint ventures in the oil and gas industry.
Kazakh officials at the meeting said they were willing to solve the issue.
The Kazakh Ministry of Industry and New Technologies (MINT) has admitted that the number of foreign workers entering Kazakhstan is exceeding its earlier quotas.
“We face this situation due to our lack of skilled specialists,” said Kazakh businesswoman Zhanar Mambeeva.