BEIJING, Oct. 15 (Xinhua) -- Economic cooperation and trade between China and central Asian countries, including Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrghyzstan, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan, has accelerated in recent years, latest data has showed.
According to figures from the Ministry of Commerce, bilateral trade with the five nations reached 46 billion U.S. dollars in 2012, up 13.7 percent from a year earlier. In the first eight months, bilateral trade totaled 32.4 billion U.S. dollars, up 16.7 percent year on year.
China has become the largest trade partner of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan, the second-largest trade partner of Uzbekistan and Kyrghyzstan, and the third-largest trade partner of Tajikistan, according to the ministry.
By the end of 2012, the stock of China's direct investment in these five central Asian nations hit 7.82 billion U.S. dollars. During the period, direct investment from the five in China reached about 520 million U.S. dollars.
Kazakhstan has become the third-largest recipient of Chinese investment, while China has become the No. 1 source of investment for Uzbekistan, the ministry said.
The ministry added that China and central Asian countries have clear geographical advantages and great potential for further cooperation, listing five key areas including infrastructure construction, agricultural production, high technology, non-resources cooperation and social management.