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Int'l agricultural fair in riot-hit Urumqi draws 110,000 visitors
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08:18, August 13, 2009

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· Brutal riots in Xinjiang
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The 9th China Xinjiang International Agricultural Fair opened in the northwestern city of Urumqi Wednesday, attracting 110,000 business people from around the world.

Representatives with 987 companies from 15 countries and regions have arrived to attend the three-day event, which features exhibitions of fertilizers, pesticides and seeds, the organizers said in a press release.

It would be the largest fair compared with the previous eight sessions in terms of its visitors and scope, the organizers said.

"The fair is held against the backdrop of global financial crisis and the July 5 riot," the press release said. "The organizers will arrange activities to promote Xinjiang's agricultural products that have not been selling well due to the aftermath of the riot."

The riot in Urumqi, capital of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, has left 197 people dead, mostly innocent civilians, and more than 1,600 others injured.

But business people still hope to cash in on the vast market opportunities of Xinjiang, which takes up a sixth of Chinese territory, as Urumqi is gradually recovering from the violence.

"Our company entered the Xinjiang market in 2005 selling fertilizers and has won a wide recognition of local farmers," said Gu Rongbao, manager of the Jinlaifu Chemicals Import and Export Co. Ltd. from eastern Shandong Province. "We have confidence in the future development in Xinjiang."

The annual fair is jointly organized by the regional government's departments of agriculture, animal husbandry among others.



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