China-Eura­sia expo builds ties among Belt and Road na­tions

China Daily (Canada) - - XINJIANG - By XU WEI in Urumqi xuwei@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Muham­mad Ab­bas has taken part in each of the past five China-Eura­sia Ex­pos, while his busi­ness has grown from a small shop to a com­pany with a brand name dur­ing this time.

“I first started with a small shop in Kash­gar. But grad­u­ally, I just moved for­ward. It was a good jour­ney, and a suc­cess­ful one for the busi­ness,” the Pak­istani na­tional said at the fifth China-Eura­sia Expo, which was held in Urumqi, North­west China’s Xin­jiang Uygur au­ton­o­mous re­gion, from Sept 20 to 25.

How­ever, Ab­bas’ busi­ness rev­enue had been grow­ing un­til last year, when the jew­elry mar­ket was hit by slug­gish de­mand.

“There are ups and downs in ev­ery busi­ness. I hope it will again pick up,” he said.

Mean­while, he hopes that the China–Pak­istan Eco­nomic Cor­ri­dor will also pro­vide easy ac­cess to the world mar­ket for Chi­nese prod­ucts, and ul­ti­mately ben­e­fit his busi­ness.

Ab­bas is just one of the thou­sands of ex­hibitors from 57 coun­tries who took part in this year’s expo.

Wang Shouwen, vice-minister of com­merce, said in a key­note speech that the China-Eura­sia Expo has be­come an im­por­tant tool for the Chi­nese govern­ment to im­ple­ment its open­ing-up strat­egy and a ma­jor plat­form for com­mu­ni­ca­tion and co­op­er­a­tion among Eurasian coun­tries.

Pak­istan, Be­larus and Italy are among the 23 coun­tries and re­gions that have par­tic­i­pated in the event in Xin­jiang since it was first held in 2011, while del­e­gates from dozens of Caribbean and African coun­tries were at­tend­ing for the first time this year.

Ta­jik­istani Prime Minister Kokhir Ra­sul­zoda said in a key­note speech at the expo that the event has played a larger and more in­flu­en­tial role in pro­mot­ing trade among Eurasian coun­tries and build­ing the Silk Road Eco­nomic Belt.

Trade vol­ume be­tween China and Belt and Road coun­tries ex­ceeded $446 bil­lion in the first half of this year, ac­cord­ing to the Min­istry of Com­merce. China has in­vested more than $51 bil­lion in the coun­tries since the ini­tia­tive was pro­posed and signed re­lated co­op­er­a­tion agree­ments with more than 30 coun­tries.

More than 100 coun­tries and in­ter­na­tional or­ga­ni­za­tions have taken part in the build­ing of the Silk Road Eco­nomic Belt and 21st Cen­tury Mar­itime Silk Road, the two key com­po­nents of the ini­tia­tive un­veiled by Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping dur­ing vis­its to Cen­tral and South­east Asia in 2013.

Li Jingyuan, ex­ec­u­tive sec­re­tary of the expo, said ef­forts have been made to up­grade the China-Eura­sia Expo into a di­plo­matic plat­form for world lead­ers, es­pe­cially from Belt and Road coun­tries.

At the past four ex­pos, nearly 30 heads of state and di­rec­tors of in­ter­na­tional or­ga­ni­za­tions, along with more than 700 min­is­te­rial-level guests, came to­gether to forge co­op­er­a­tion ini­tia­tives on is­sues of com­mon in­ter­est at nearly 40 high-level fo­rums and spe­cial events.

Zhang Ji­wen, an of­fi­cial at the gen­eral ad­min­is­tra­tion of qual­ity su­per­vi­sion, in­spec­tion and quar­an­tine, said in an in­ter­na­tional fo­rum on en­try-exit health quar­an­tine at the expo that the coun­try is look­ing to step up co­op­er­a­tion with Eurasian coun­tries on bor­der health quar­an­tine pro­ce­dures to pre­vent the spread of en­demic dis­eases.

Zhang said the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive will bring more fre­quent in­ter­na­tional ex­changes in cargo and per­son­nel as cross-bor­der trade in­creases, adding that there are 4.4 bil­lion peo­ple in Eura­sia, and pub­lic health con­di­tions and en­demic dis­ease trans­mis­sion rates vary greatly among coun­tries.

Dur­ing the expo, tele­com ser­vice providers from eight Eurasian coun­tries signed a man­i­festo as they jointly com­mit­ted to cre­ate a high-speed net­work to in­crease con­nec­tiv­ity and pro­mote cul­tural and eco­nomic ex­changes.

Chen Li­dong, deputy head of in­for­ma­tion and com­mu­ni­ca­tion ser­vices de­vel­op­ment at the Min­istry of In­dus­try and In­for­ma­tion Tech­nol­ogy, said the sign­ing of the man­i­festo is also aimed at en­abling tele­com com­pa­nies in dif­fer­ent coun­tries to de­velop mu­tu­ally ben­e­fi­cial re­la­tions for peo­ple and en­ter­prises in coun­tries along the Silk Road Eco­nomic Belt.

He added that China wants to help im­prove the over­all level of in­for­ma­tion com­mu­ni­ca­tion in the Eurasian re­gion and grad­u­ally elim­i­nate the dig­i­tal di­vide be­tween coun­tries.

“We are will­ing to pro­mote trade and eco­nomic ex­changes by strength­en­ing net­work con­nec­tiv­ity and de­vel­op­ing cross-bor­der e-com­merce,” he said.

I first started with a small shop in Kash­gar. But grad­u­ally, I just moved for­ward .”

Xin­hua con­trib­uted story.

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WANG FEI / XIN­HUA

Vis­i­tors ex­am­ine car­pets at the Iran pavilion dur­ing the fifth China-Eura­sia Expo in Urumqi on Sept 22.

WANG FEI / XIN­HUA

Per­form­ers dance at the Be­larus pavilion dur­ing the fifth Chi­naEura­sia Expo in Urumqi, cap­i­tal of North­west China’s Xin­jiang Uygur au­ton­o­mous re­gion, on Sept 22.

WANG FEI / XIN­HUA

An ex­hibitor drinks wine at the Ge­or­gia pavilion dur­ing the fifth China-Eura­sia Expo on Sept 22.

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