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China-central Asia trade seeing fast growth

BEIJING, Feb. 13 (Xinhua) -- Trade between China and central Asian countries, including Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrghyzstan, climbed 13 percent year on year to reach 40 billion U.S. dollars in 2013, an official said on Thursday.

Bilateral trade between China and Kazakhstan rose to 28.6 billion U.S. dollars while that between China and Uzbekistan topped 4 billion U.S. dollars, up 11.3 percent and 58.3 percent respectively, Ministry of Commerce (MOC) spokesman Yao Jian said.

With such momentum, a trade target of 40 billion U.S. dollars set for China and Kazakhstan by 2015 and one of 5 billion U.S. dollars for China and Uzbekistan by 2017 are expected to be met, Yao added.

In a speech at Kazakhstan's Nazarbayev University last September, Chinese President Xi Jinping proposed to establish a Silk Road Economic Belt, similar to the original, ancient Silk Road of more than 2,000 years ago, to boost cooperation between China and Eurasian countries.

The MOC will continue with measures in this regard, including facilitating cargo transportation and personnel exchange, promoting e-commerce and the use of RMB in settlement, Yao said.

The ministry is considering setting up cross-border economic cooperation zones in places "where conditions are ripe," he added.

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