Vice Premier Hu Chunhua addresses the opening ceremony of the Sixth China-Eurasia Expo in Urumqi, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, on August 30 (YANG NAN)
The Sixth China-Eurasia Expo, being held in Urumqi, capital of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, offers a major platform for promoting the Belt and Road Initiative, as well as cooperation between Xinjiang and neighboring countries and regions.
On August 30, Vice Premier Hu Chunhua addressed the opening ceremony of the three-day expo, themed The Belt and Road, Wide Discussion, Joint Contribution and Shared Interests. He recounted that since China launched the Belt and Road Initiative in 2013, it has deepened pragmatic cooperation with other countries, yielding substantial achievements.
He expressed China's wish to further expand cooperation with other countries, and encouraged enterprises in other Eurasian countries to work closer together with their Chinese counterparts.
This year marks the 40th anniversary of China's reform and opening up and the fifth anniversary of the Belt and Road Initiative. Holding the expo at this juncture is of special significance to Xinjiang, which is located along the core area of the Silk Road Economic Belt.
Since 2013, China's public and private sectors have established multi-level mechanisms for cooperation with countries and regions along the Belt and Road, said Fu Ziying, Vice Minister of Commerce.
Visitors flock to the Sixth China-Eurasia Expo on August 30 (WANG HAIRONG)
"China's trade and investment cooperation with countries and regions along the routes has yielded fruitful results," Fu said. He added that in the first half of this year, the commodity import and export volume between China and countries and regions along the routes reached $605 billion, an increase of 18 percent year on year. Moreover, Chinese enterprises have added $7.68 billion in investment to these countries and regions.
Delegates from 35 countries and regions are participating in the expo, including foreign politicians and representatives of Fortune 500 companies. Fazal Hadi Muslimyar, President of the House of Elders of Afghanistan, and Maya Tskitishvile, Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure of Georgia, also spoke at the opening ceremony.
Muslimyar said that the China-Eurasia Expo is a stage not just for the development of Urumqi and China, but a very good platform for regional development. He called on all participants, and potential investors and influential institutions which were not present "to utilize these opportunities for cultural exchanges, ideological and social exchanges, and political deals and for advancing their cities."
"The China-Eurasia Expo will be another step toward contributing to achieving the Belt and Road Initiative goals," said Tskitishvile. "This kind of platform helps to fully maximize the Belt and Road Initiative's outcomes and address the trade imbalance with China."
Wang Peng (left), a civil servant in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, presents products from a poverty alleviation project on August 30 (WANG HAIRONG)
The expo features a main forum, four parallel forums and a number of trade and promotional investment activities. The main forum, held on August 30, focused on economic development and cooperation. The four parallel forums are the Belt and Road Forum for Textile and Garment, the Belt and Road Forum for International Logistics Cooperation, the Belt and Road Forum for Industry and Commerce, and the Belt and Road Theme Day Activity for Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps.
The expo has been successfully held five times since 2011, with this year's number of enterprises the highest in its history. Expo organizers, in an attempt to make the event green, encouraged exhibitors to use low-carbon, energy-saving and environmentally friendly materials to build their booths. The event not only showcases commodities, but also the region's achievements in its poverty alleviation efforts.
The expo covers a total exhibition area of 70,000 square meters, including four key exhibition zones, namely the Investment and Cooperation Image Zone, the International and Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan Zone, the Commodity and Trade Zone, and the Targeted Poverty Alleviation Achievement Zone.
(Reporting from Xinjiang)
Copyedited by Rebeca Toledo
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