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China’s Kashgar prefecture hopes to facilitate Asia, European trade

ANN/CHINA DAILY – Kashgar prefecture in Northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, expects to facilitate China’s further opening-up to Asia and Europe through a newly established free trade zone.

Kashgar, in southwestern Xinjiang, has three ports. It is located near two ports in neighbouring Kezilesu Kirgiz autonomous prefecture, linking countries including Pakistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Afghanistan. It also acts as a gateway to Russia and European nations.

Its total trade value surged 89.7 per cent year-on-year to reach CNY61.04 billion (USD8.42 billion) from January to September, local government data showed.

The China (Xinjiang) Pilot Free Trade Zone was established on November 1. It covers 179.66 square kilometres and comprises areas in Kashgar prefecture, Urumqi and Horgos.

The development has boosted the confidence and expectation of business owners conducting cross-border trade.

A truck leaves the Kashgar Area of the China (Xinjiang) Pilot Free Trade Zone. PHOTO: XINHUA

At the unveiling ceremony of the Kashgar Area of the zone in mid-November, a first group of 35 companies received business licenses with project funds worth more than CNY17.6 billion, covering sectors such as trade and logistics, electronics, new materials and automotive parts.

Zhi Fu Holding Group from Guangdong province has invested CNY2 billion to build a hotel and a gold, diamond and jade trade centre in Kashgar.

A Zhejiang-based trading company plans to invest CNY1 billion to build an industrial park to manufacture daily necessities, textiles, apparel and accessories.

“With good policy support, we are confident of prospering in the international market,” company chairman Yang Caiping told Xinjiang Daily.

Leveraging the advantages of international trade and logistics channels, the area will expand and strengthen its foreign-oriented economy, with a focus on developing industries such as processed agricultural products, textile and garments, and assembled electronic products, according to the overall plan for the zone.