In a speech delivered at Nazarbayev University in Kazakhstan, Xi suggested that China and Central Asian countries enhance communication and work together to foster regional economic integration in terms of both policy and law.

On the topic of trade, Xi said that all parties should explore ways to facilitate trade and investment, and make proper arrangements. The Chinese president also urged the regional members to promote local-currency settlement so as to improve their immunity to financial risks and their global competitiveness.

Calling for strengthening friendly people-to-people exchanges, Xi proposed mutual understanding and traditional friendship should be promoted among the countries in the region.

The Silk Road boasts a population of three billion and a market that is unparalleled both in scale and potential, said Xi, urging relevant parties to facilitate trade and investment and remove barriers. Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, who accompanied Xi to the university, told the audience in his remarks that Kazakhstan and China are good neighbours, friends and partners.

Nazarbayev also agreed with Xi on building the Silk Road economic belt, and would like to work with China to enhance economic cooperation, traffic connectivity, as well as people-to-people and cultural exchanges. Xi arrived in Astana on Friday for a state visit to Kazakhstan after attending the G20 summit in the Russian city of St. Petersburg.

(Agencies)

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