Trade at Hor­gos slated for 14% surge

China Daily (Canada) - - CHINA - By ZHONG NAN in Hor­gos, Xin­jiang zhong­nan@chi­

Cross-bor­der trade vol­ume at Hor­gos Port, a bor­der sta­tion con­nect­ing China and Kaza­khstan, is ex­pected to grow by 14 per­cent by the end of this year as Cen­tral Asian and Euro­pean coun­tries vie for larger footholds in the Chi­nese mar­ket.

Hor­gos is a land en­try port, also known as a bor­der sta­tion, in the Ili Kazakh au­ton­o­mous pre­fec­ture of the Xin­jiang Uygur au­ton­o­mous re­gion. Its his­tory can be traced back to China’s Sui Dy­nasty (AD 581-618), when the port served as part of the Silk Road trade routes.

“The new eco­nomic op­por­tu­ni­ties were cre­ated by the co­op­er­a­tion be­tween China and Kaza­khstan to build the Hor­gos In­ter­na­tional Bor­der Co­op­er­a­tion Cen­ter, the first cross-bor­der in­ter­na­tional co­op­er­a­tion cen­ter in Eura­sia,” said Liu Yanong, deputy di­rec­tor of Hor­gos Port’s ad­min­is­tra­tive com­mit­tee.

The cen­ter — on which con­struc­tion be­gan in 2011 and is now nearly com­plete — is built across the bor­der be­tween the two na­tions and is lo­cated near the town of Hor­gos in Xin­jiang. Ex­actly 3.43 square kilo­me­ters of the cen­ter is lo­cated in Xin­jiang, and the rest, 1.85 square km, lies in Kaza­khstan. It serves as a free trade zone, an in­dus­trial in­no­va­tion park and a cross­bor­der lo­gis­tics hub.

Hor­gos is the largest land port in North­west China and is poised to be­come one of the most im­por­tant ports in the coun­try. It is lo­cated near a nat­u­ral gas pipe­line that stretches be­tween China and Kaza­khstan. Trade vol­ume at Hor­gos Port reached 22 mil­lion met­ric tons in 2013.

Trade de­mand be­tween China and Cen­tral Asia, Liu said, may push the trade vol­ume at Hor­gos Port to 25 mil­lion tons this year, mostly be­cause of surg­ing im­ports of Cen­tral Asian farm prod­ucts and nat­u­ral gas over the past two years.

In the first quar­ter of this year, more than 107,400 for­eign­ers passed China’s im­mi­gra­tion en­try points at Hor­gos Port — roughly half of whom were Kaza­khsta­nis. Kaza­khstan, whose eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment is the strong­est among the five Cen­tral Asian coun­tries, has had close trade and eco­nomic ties with China in re­cent years. Bi­lat­eral trade be­tween the two na­tions reached $28.6 bil­lion in 2013.

“Traders from both sides can pur­chase duty-free prod­ucts up to 8,000 yuan ($1,272) per day at the cen­ter, higher than the limit of 5,000 yuan in South China’s Hainan prov­ince, the coun­try’s in­ter­na­tional tourism is­land,” said Liu.

“Cen­tral Asian coun­tries are not the only ben­e­fi­cia­ries of the cen­ter’s fa­vor­able trade and in­vest­ment poli­cies,” Liu said. “The first round of duty-free ve­hi­cle im­ports from Europe will ar­rive at the cen­ter in Hor­gos via rail in the sec­ond half of June.”

Through Hor­gos, trade be­tween China, Cen­tral Asia and Europe is thriv­ing, with a high traf­fic of trucks and reg­u­lar in­ter­na­tional freight trains car­ry­ing goods and com­modi­ties such as tex­tiles, ve­hi­cle parts, phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal prod­ucts, daily prod­ucts, me­chan­i­cal equip­ment and home ap­pli­ances.

Liu said a 305-km high­way be­tween Hor­gos to Al­maty, the largest city in Kaza­khstan, will be com­pleted in 2016, and Hor­gos will be­come a ma­jor land port for grain im­ports.

Gan Changchun, deputy di­rec­tor of Xin­jiang’s De­vel­op­ment and Re­form Com­mis­sion, said more man­u­fac­tur­ing prod­ucts such as ve­hi­cles and high­end ma­chiner­ies can be trans­ported from Europe to China through high­ways, which should help cre­ate jobs in many sur­round­ing towns and vil­lages along the Silk Road eco­nomic belt.


Mer­chants from Kaza­khstan deal with or­ders at a trade cen­ter in Hor­gos, Xin­jiang Uygur au­ton­o­mous re­gion, on Wed­nes­day. Through the port, trade be­tween China, Cen­tral Asia and Europe is thriv­ing.

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