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China-Central Asia cooperation fund being considered: premier

(Workers' Daily)

08:14, September 03, 2012

URUMUQI, Sept. 2 (Xinhua) -- China will explore the possibility of setting up a China-Central Asia economic cooperation fund and an agricultural cooperation fund in an effort to bolster economic links with neighboring countries, said Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao here on Sunday.

Wen made the comments when addressing the second China-Eurasia Economic Development and Cooperation Forum, a key sideline event of the China-Eurasia Expo, which opened in the capital of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

China is also considering building several trade zones and agricultural demonstration centers in neighboring countries, he revealed.

Located in the heartland of the Eurasian continent, Xinjiang has been the passage for economic and cultural exchanges between China and Western countries since ancient times. It was from here that the Silk Road extended to other Eurasian countries.

Today, as China opens up in an all-round way, Xinjiang's geographical, cultural and resource advantages have become more prominent in the course of China's dealings with the west and along the border areas.

Last year, the Chinese government upgraded the 19-year-old Urumqi Foreign Economic Relations and Trade Fair into the China-Eurasia Expo. "The aim is to build a new bridge of friendship and cooperation across the Eurasian continent, lay a new passage for China's opening-up to the west and make Xinjiang a gateway for mutually beneficial cooperation between China and other Eurasian countries," he said.

Wen pledged to "make full use of [Xinjiang's] geographical advantage to develop modes of trade that suit the local conditions, including border trade, border barter and tourist shopping."

Xinjiang now has 17 national open ports and 15 national industrial clusters, including the Kashgar and Horgos economic development zones and the China-Kazakhstan international border cooperation center in Horgos.

"The central government will introduce preferential policies in land, taxation, import and export, infrastructure and other areas in Xinjiang," Wen vowed.

According to the premier, China welcomes enterprises of all countries to come and invest here, to not only "bring in" investment but also encourage Chinese enterprises to "go global," expanding investment in Eurasian countries.

"Xinjiang's reform, opening-up and development will not only benefit people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang, but also bring more development opportunities to Eurasian countries," he said.

The annual expo is scheduled to last until Sept. 7.

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