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Xinjiang economy forms closer international ties under new Silk Road


Updated: 2015-07-11 15:19:15

URUMQI - China's far western Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region is becoming better connected with the international community after the implementation of the Silk Road Economic Belt.

Trade volume at Alataw Pass, the region's largest land port on the Kazakhstan border, reached 25 million tons last year, after an average annual growth of 27 percent since 1991, according to port officials.

The Alataw Pass bonded area, the first specialized trade area in Xinjiang, which started operation in June last year, began to import vehicles this month.

"At the beginning, we aimed to set up six trading centers for products such as imported oil and gas, grain and edible oil," said Zhu Yunchao, an administration official of the bonded area.

A cross-border e-commerce platform will also be set up with enterprises to expand trade, he said.

The region, which is rich in agricultural products, is striving to promote its brands abroad.

"Last year, the export of our self-cultivated products such as cotton, tomato and peanuts to central Asian countries grew by 40 percent," said Bao Zhenxing, deputy head of an agricultural technological park in Hui autonomous prefecture of Changji, Xinjiang.

An international cooperation center for central Asia will be built in the park to help more competitive brands enter foreign market, he said.

Chinese President Xi Jinping proposed the Silk Road Economic Belt in 2013, an overland network focused on boosting international trade and cooperation on infrastructure projects with Central, South and West Asian countries.

The initiative is seen as a good opportunity for Xinjiang, which occupies one sixth of the country's total land area and neighbors eight central and southern Asian countries.

As the bridgehead of China's opening-up to the west, Xinjiang plays an important role in the Silk Road economic belt strategy, thanks to its geopolitical, cultural and resource advantages, said Zhang Chunxian, Communist Party chief of the region.

Xinjiang-based Tebian Electric Apparatus Stock Co Ltd, a leading transformer producer, has participated in power projects in dozens of countries in central, southern Asia and Africa in recent years.