Foreign and Military Affairs

Expo to shine light on business in Xinjiang

By Zhang Chunyan (China Daily)
Updated: 2011-06-15 07:19
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LONDON - Xinjiang is rolling out a welcome carpet to European businesses before the first China-Eurasia Expo begins.

The investment environment has become more favorable in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, said Yu Xiudong, chairman of the executive committee of the expo and vice-president of the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps, while at the China-Eurasia Expo Promotion Conference held in London on Monday.

The annual China Urumqi Foreign Economic Relations and Trade Fair was upgraded to the China-Eurasia Expo this year.

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The expo will be held from Sept 1 to 5 in the Xinjiang International Convention Center in Urumqi.

Xinjiang is rich in energy and mineral resources, Yu said. It contains 30 percent of all the oil found in China, 34 percent of the natural gas and 40 percent of the coal.

As a landlocked region, Xinjiang has long looked westward, mainly to places in Central and Western Asia, for trade and investment opportunities.

"It is an important strategy adopted by the central government to further organize and accelerate the development of Xinjiang so as to ensure the region's prosperity and its long-term stability," noted Li Feng, a counselor in the Chinese embassy in the United Kingdom.

Talking about Xinjiang's advantages, Li said the central government should develop Xinjiang while it continues to strive for economic cooperation with neighboring countries.

Xinjiang borders eight countries including Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Afghanistan.

Xinjiang's economy complements those of neighboring countries, especially those of Central Asian countries.

Xinjiang has adopted a policy of both internal and external opening-up along its borders, the Euro-Asia Continent Bridge and its main lines of transport.

All these make Xinjiang a forerunner of China's westward opening and promote it as an important place for economic development.

He Ruoqun, vice-chairman of the Executive Committee of China-Eurasia Expo, said the expo will consist of forums and activities on a variety of important subjects.

Among those delivering speeches will be Chinese leaders and high-ranking government officials in Eurasian countries, representatives of international organizations, experts and scholars from home and abroad and representatives from industrial and commercial circles, He added.

The China-Eurasia Expo is sponsored by the government of the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps and 27 ministries and commissions, such as the Ministry of Commerce and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It is also being co-sponsored by 22 provinces and municipalities, including Beijing and Shanghai.

Analysts said China has attached great importance to the expo in the hope of strengthening economic cooperation with neighboring countries and of attaining prosperity and economic development.

Robert Hurley, the sector manager from the UK Trade & Investment department, said the UK has a strong economic relationship with China in a variety of industries and is looking forward to taking advantage of the opportunities it enjoys with its business partners in Xinjiang.

Expo promotion conferences will also be held in France, Finland, Italy and other European countries.

Yui-tak Wan contributed to this story.