Business / Economy

China to step up ties with neighbors

By Yuan Hui and Du Juan (China Daily) Updated: 2015-11-17 10:21

Closer cooperation between Chinese and Mongolian companies on infrastructure projects will boost bilateral ties between the two nations and also with Russia, officials said.

China, Russia and Mongolia recently announced the construction of a trilateral economic corridor to boost political, trade and cultural exchanges among the three nations. Close on the heels of the announcement, work has already started on the ground.

China State Construction Engineering Corporation, the third largest construction company in the world, is already in discussions with a State-owned Mongolian railway enterprise to build the eastern railroad in Mongolia, according to Li Jiqin, managing director of the company's overseas businesses.

The economic corridor will have three north-to-south railway lines, while the existing western line that runs through the three nations, and delivers mining resources, will remain unchanged for the time being.

The central line will be updated with the required construction standards for Chinese railways, said Li. CSCEC has participated in the upgrading work for the central railroad, in addition to the construction of the eastern line.

"We are doing the planning and design work for the central line and expect to complete the same within a year," he said.

"It is possible that private firms from China will participate in these projects as there are many flexible modes for financing."

Li, however, declined to release the actual investment on these projects. However, he said the company's revenue from overseas markets has been growing at 20 percent in the past few years.

"We started participating in overseas projects since the 1950s and have already gained considerable experiences. The Belt and Road Initiative is a further step in our efforts for qualitative growth," he said.

He said the company will help build several roads in the southern part of Mongolia to link with the northern regions of China. The roads, Li said, will help facilitate trade between the two neighbors.

The economic corridor linking China, Mongolia and Russia was proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping last year during a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj on the sidelines of the 14th summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

During the China-Mongolia Expo held in Hohhot, Inner Mongolia autonomous region in late October this year, vice prime minister of Mongolia Ts Oyonbaatar said China's foreign policies have given Mongolia great opportunities for investment.

At the same time, the increasing power demand and rich agricultural and mining resources in Mongolia are also offering several business opportunities to Chinese investors, he said.

"Mongolia will treat domestic and foreign investors equally to boost economic growth," he said.

Up to 46 projects with total contracts value of nearly 57 billion yuan ($8.96 billion) concerning energy, petrochemical, equipment manufacturing, construction, logistics and tourism were signed between Chinese and Mongolian companies during the expo.

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