Western regions on fast track of high-quality development

(Xinhua) 12:13, September 21, 2021

CHENGDU, Sept. 21 (Xinhua) -- One day ahead of the opening of 18th Western China International Fair (WCIF) from Sept. 16 to 20, DPD Group, a leading parcel delivery network in Europe, set up a new regional headquarters in Chengdu, capital of southwest China's Sichuan Province.

It is the group's fourth regional headquarters on the Chinese mainland, following the ones in Beijing, Shanghai and Zhengzhou.

"It's a natural process for large logistics enterprises to expand their presence from the coastal regions to the inland areas. Chengdu, the only city in central and western China with two international airports, will bring new opportunities for DPD to expand the cross-border e-commerce logistics business from China to Europe and Southeast Asia," said Johnson Zhang, DPD Group's chief representative for Greater China.

Zhang added that starting in October, each week the group will operate six cargo flights from Chengdu to London, Paris and Amsterdam.

After China put forward the West Development Strategy in 1999, the country's western regions have achieved remarkable progress. The accelerating GDP growth in western China suggests a narrowing development gap between the country's east and west.

A new guideline on advancing high-quality development in the western regions was released last year, which will present an even promising development prospect for the regions.

The upgrading and transformation of traditional industries and the emergence of new industries are constantly broadening the prospect of the western regions. A total of 758 investment projects have been signed at this year's WCIF.

Southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region, which boasts rich cultural resources and local specialties such as highland barley and yak, had been lagging in large-scale development due to a lack of criteria, certificates and investment.

Tibet last year set up a regional brand, namely "The Third Pole of the Earth," to boost these industries through brand marketing, standardized production so that these industries can better serve rural vitalization and stimulate high-quality development.

"We have implemented blockchain-powered source tracing, third-party certification, product insurance and other measures to help Tibet's characteristic products achieve supply-side structural reform," said Gele Basang, head of the Lhasa-based The Third Pole of the Earth Industrial Development Co., Ltd.

This is the first time Luis Schmidt Montes, Chilean Ambassador to China, attended the WCIF. "I was deeply impressed by the prominent achievements China's western regions have made in scientific and technological innovation, especially in the fields of new energy vehicles, artificial intelligence and 5G technology," he said at the fair.

Statistics show that the number of departing China-Europe freight trains in the western region continues to increase, and accounts for over half of the country's total.

Last year, the number of rail-sea intermodal trains in the new land-sea corridor in western China registered a 105 percent year-on-year increase. The western regions now are home to five pilot free trade zones, 40 comprehensive bonded zones and 47 state-level economic development zones.

The Chengdu-Chongqing economic circle which is under construction is expected to further inject new momentum to drive the economic growth and high-quality development of the western regions, with 252 agreements already signed since it was brought up early last year. 

(Web editor: Xia Peiyao, Bianji)


Related Stories