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|Wednesday, March 07, 2001, updated at 08:23(GMT+8)|
Inner Mongolia to Develop into Foreign Trade CenterThe Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region will intensify its economic cooperation with Mongolia, Russia and East European countries in the next five years, aiming to turn itself into a foreign trade center in the northern part of the country.
Officials with the region's bureau in charge of foreign trade and economic cooperation said Russia and Mongolia would be put on priority in the aspect during the tenth five-year plan (2001-2005).
The region will encourage border trade, trade among civilians and border cities, tourism-related trades, processing industry and economic cooperation in the border areas and at the same time increase exports of high-quality products to the two countries.
The region is to continue improving infrastructure facilities in Erenhot and Manzhouli, two border cities, and to set up free trade zones and export-oriented processing areas as a way to encourage foreign trade.
Related statistics show that the region signed contracts mainly with Mongolia and Russia on contract construction projects, labor resources cooperation and designing and consultation services in the past five years, involving a total 260 million U.S. dollars. It also increased the export of machinery and materials by 50 million U.S. dollars.
The central and the regional governments have invested over 300 million yuan (about 36 million U.S. dollars) since 1996 to 2000 in improving the infrastructure facilities in 18 port cities, building more highways in Erenhot and Manzhouli cities, and opened international air transportation lines in Hohhot, capital of the region.
The region shares 4,200-kilometer border with Mongolia and several other countries in Central Asia.
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