by Xinhua writers Ren Jun, Zhang Jiye
NUR-SULTAN, Nov. 4 (Xinhua) -- Asia Waters is one of the 30 Kazakh food producers attending this year's China International Import Expo (CIIE). Several of the company's signature products are up for sale, including mineral water, sparkling water and vodka.
"China has the world's largest market, or one of the largest. Chinese customers have great appetite for quality food. We are very interested in the Chinese market and hope to export our products to China," said Nygman Saduov, deputy manager of the marketing department of Asia Waters, to Xinhua in a recent interview.
"Our mineral water ... is popular among Chinese tourists. We hope that we can find Chinese partners who are interested in our products at CIIE," he said.
Stanislav Maksimets, director of Kokshetau Mineral Water, a key production base of Asia Waters group, said: "The prospect of Kazakhstan-China cooperation is very promising. For us, participating in the CIIE is a great honor. It means a significant big step into the Chinese market."
Kazakhstan is one of the 15 guest-of-honor countries at this year's CIIE. A total of 30 Kazakh food companies, including top flour, meat and milk producers, will bring 40 tons of food samples in two containers to the expo.
"Kazakh companies signed 20 contracts worth 120 million U.S. dollars at last year's CIIE. This year, they are more prepared," said Nuraly Bokeikhanov, deputy chairman of the Board of Directors of the Chamber of International Commerce of Kazakhstan, which organized the trip of Kazakh companies to the CIIE. "Many of the exhibitors have adjusted the packaging for Chinese customers and obtained Chinese certification in advance."
"Currently, about 250 Kazakhstan food companies export goods to China, most of them are sold along the border areas. The CIIE presents a unique opportunity for Kazakh companies to bring their products beyond the border region into other parts of China," said Bokeikhanov.
"In the future, we hope one can find Kazakh products everywhere across China, like Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou," he told Xinhua.
"Kazakhastan has great potential to export agricultural products to China. They are of high quality yet relatively low in price. Meanwhile, as a result of enhanced connectivity between the two neighbours, logistics have significantly improved, making fresh goods delivered within a short period of time," he said.
While Kazakhstan's sweets, juice, flour and other products are sold in some Chinese supermarkets, more companies are interested in staking out a space on China's massive e-commerce platforms.
According to Bokeikhanov, more than 100 Kazakh brands will open online shops on Alibaba next year.
"Kazakhstan's producers have sufficient production capacity, while the giant Chinese market can make our factories run at full capacity," said Bokeikhanov.