Province looks to shipping, neighbors to increase trade

By Zhang Zhao ( China Daily ) Updated: 2017-06-14 07:35:03

Through its nearby seaways and transit routes, authorities hope to shift economy

Thirty trucks carrying specialties of Jilin province, such as frozen corn and dried codfish, passed through the Tonghua international inland port on Dec 19, 2016. They headed for the Dandong port in neighboring Liaoning province to export the goods to South Korea.

The passing of the fleet marked the start of operations at Tonghua port, which was approved by the provincial government in July 2016. Jilin's local companies can apply to customs in Tonghua, then transport their goods to Dandong and on to more than 160 ports in some 120 countries and regions worldwide.

Province looks to shipping, neighbors to increase trade

The port is an important part of the Jilin government's most recent efforts to open up to the outside world for the past several decades.

In 1992, as proposed by the United Nations Development Programme, the governments of China, Russia, Mongolia, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and the Republic of Korea launched a regional cooperation project centering on the Tumen River in Jilin province.

The project became part of China's national strategy in 2009.

According to the Jilin provincial government's plan, the Tumen River region will be built into an important portal for China's opening-up to northeastern Asia, an economic and technological cooperation platform in northeastern Asia and an economic growth engine for Northeast China.

In the early years of the 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-15) - when there was a downturn in the world economy - the Jilin government strengthened its supportive policies for international trade, cross-border e-commerce, and retail and service outsourcing.

The provincial capital has become a national pilot city for cross-border e-commerce exportation.

The first Jilin Cross-Border E-Commerce Summit was held on Sept 14, 2016, during which the government launched a strategic cooperation project with Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group to help 200 Jilin-based companies to start e-commerce businesses.

Last year, the import and export volume of the province reached 121.7 billion yuan ($17.9 billion), increasing 3.8 percent from 2015. Jilin was one of the nine provincial-level regions in the country with growing import and export volume that year, and its growth rate was the third-highest nationwide.

Cross-border e-commerce business totaled more than 1 billion yuan in 2016, 2.5 times the volume of the previous year. At the same time, Jilin introduced investment worth 764.9 billion yuan from outside the province, increasing 12 percent year-on-year, and used foreign capital of $9.43 billion, up 10 percent year-on-year.

Jilin has made these achievements thanks to its government's implementation of opening-up policies for many years, especially after the Belt and Road Initiative was proposed, said local officials.

A number of investment attraction campaigns were held in Jilin last year, during which 145 projects were signed with total introduced investment valued at 52.73 billion yuan.

The focuses of Jilin government's opening-up plan include both inland and coastal areas.

Approved by the State Council in February 2016, the Changchun New Area is the 17th national-level new area in China and a major player in Jilin's inland opening-up program. Last year, the area's GDP exceeded 100 billion yuan.

In eastern Jilin's Hunchun, a land-sea combined freight transportation route opened in May 2015, through which local goods are transported to the port of Zarubino in Russia by train and then to Busan in the ROK by ship.

On Nov 22, 2016, the Hunchun export processing industry park received 220 metric tons of canned food from the ROK in 15 containers. It was the first shipment of food imported from the ROK since the Hunchun-Zarubino-Busan route opened and the first since the China-South Korea Free Trade Agreement was signed on Dec 20, 2015.

In the park, it takes less than a minute for trucks to pass through customs thanks to the use of smart equipment.

 Province looks to shipping, neighbors to increase trade

The China-Northeast Asia Expo attracts foreign representatives to Changchun, capital of Jilin province.Provided To China Daily

 Province looks to shipping, neighbors to increase trade

A US spectator learns how to perform a dance of the Korean ethnic group from Jin Mingchun, an intangible cultural heritage inheritor in Jilin.Provided To China Daily

 Province looks to shipping, neighbors to increase trade

Freight vehicles pass through the Tumen River and drive to China from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.Provided To China Daily

(China Daily 06/14/2017 page7)

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