URUMQI - Overseas-related contracts to be signed during the first China-Eurasia Expo (CAE Expo), which begins on Thursday in Urumqi, the capital of the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, will set a record, the organizing committee said.
The expo was known as a trade fair over the past 19 years.
"The organizer has collected 964 projects investing in Xinjiang, and the contract volume will hit 491.1 billion yuan ($76.96 billion) during the expo," Malina Janabil, vice-director at the Commerce Bureau of the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, told a news conference on Tuesday.
Last year, foreign trade and economic cooperation contracts signed during the fair were valued at $3.61 billion, taking the cumulative value of overseas-related contracts to $39.65 billion.
This year's expo runs from Sept 1 to 5 in the new Xinjiang International Convention Center.
According to the organizing committee, the expo is expected to attract more than 50,000 participants from 30 countries and regions.
Chinese leaders and high-ranking foreign officials, including President Asif Ali Zardari of Pakistan and Deputy Prime Minister Asset Issekeshev of Kazakhstan, will participate in economic and cooperation forums and activities.
"As a landlocked region, Xinjiang offers huge foreign trade and investment opportunities and we plan to attract more investment projects from countries in places such as Central and Western Asia and Europe," Janabil told China Daily.
Bordering eight countries and regions, including Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Afghanistan, the Xinjiang economy complements those of its neighbors.
The Xinjiang government has rolled out policies to attract businesses from the United Kingdom, France, Finland, Italy and other European countries to take part in the event.
"China has attached great importance to the expo in the hope of strengthening economic cooperation with Eurasian countries and attaining prosperity and economic development," said Li Jingyuan, secretary-general of the organizing committee.