Re­gional con­nec­tiv­ity key to mu­tual ben­e­fits, trade of­fi­cial says

China Daily (Canada) - - TOP NEWS - By ZHONG­NAN, YANG ZIMAN and YUAN HUI

China-Mon­go­lia busi­ness ties will look to en­hanced re­gional con­nec­tiv­ity to stim­u­late trade and at­tract in­vest­ment as they pur­sue mea­sures to im­prove eco­nomic in­te­gra­tion, Chi­nese of­fi­cials said.

Zhi Luxun, deputy di­rec­tor of the De­part­ment of For­eign Trade at theMin­istry of Com­merce, said re­gional con­nec­tiv­ity is a top pri­or­ity for the Mon­go­lian gov­ern­ment when it comes to pro­mot­ing de­vel­op­ment in in­vest­ment, trade, in­fras­truc­ture and tourism.

Mon­go­lia is a land­locked coun­try with a sparse pop­u­la­tion, vast ter­ri­tory and abun­dant re­sources. It re­liesheav­ily onChina andRus­sia for ac­cess to ports. The coun­try ex­ports mainly min­er­als and agri­cul­tural prod­ucts to China and global trade part­ners.

To help the coun­try boost ex­ports, Mon­go­lia has been al­lowed to use part of Tian­jin Port in­China, and it has set up an of­fice in Tian­jin.

“We think Dalian is an­other port that will prob­a­bly­be­come open toMon­go­lia,” said Khal­i­un­bat Myag­mar­jav, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Silk Road Foun­da­tion, a Mon­go­lian civil eco­nomic or­ga­ni­za­tion.

China’s In­ner Mon­go­lia au­ton­o­mous re­gion has also madea pro­posal to the cen­tral gov­ern­ment to make it­self a free-trade zone based on cross-border trade.

“The two coun­tries are highly com­ple­men­tary in eco­nomic struc­ture and en­joy a huge po­ten­tial for eco­nomic and trade co­op­er­a­tion,” said Luo Ren­jian, a re­searcher at the In­sti­tute of Transportation Re­search un­der the Na­tional De­vel­op­ment and Re­form Com­mis­sion.

Luo said Mon­go­lia has re­al­ized that bet­ter rail con­nec­tions and en­hanced port ser­vices could­have mean­ing­ful eco­nom­i­can­d­po­lit­i­calimpli­ca­tions for its eco­nomic growth.

Wang Li­hua, di­rec­tor of the pub­lic­ity de­part­ment of Eren­hot, In­ner Mon­go­lia au­ton­o­mous re­gion, said Mon­go­lia needs a largenum­berof goods and prod­ucts from China.

Eren­hot is now China’s only trad­ing hub with­Mon­go­lia.

“About 2 mil­lion Mon­go­lians en­ter China through the land port of Eren­hot each year,” Wang said. “The eco­nomic con­nec­tion be­tween the two coun­tries is go­ing to be even stronger with the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive in place.”

Con­tact the writ­ers at zhong­nan@chi­

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