Kashgar to become major trading hub

Updated: 2012-06-28 17:20

By Shao Wei in Kashgar, Xinjiang (chinadaily.com.cn)

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Kashgar, a city in Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, wants to become a major international trading hub by speeding up the construction of railway and highway projects linking China and Central Asia, a senior local official said.

Ye Lin, executive deputy commissioner of the Kashgar prefecture, said on Thursday that the city is now focusing on the international railway and highway projects.

At the SCO Beijing Summit, President Hu Jintao called for closer economic cooperation with Central Asian nations bordering Northwest China, and suggested speeding up construction of the railway and road connecting China, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan.

The national section of the China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan Railway has already been listed as one of State and Xinjiang's key projects, said Ye at the Kashgar, Central and South Asia Commodity Fair.

"This year's Kashgar Trade Fair showcases the potential of the ancient Silk Road commercial hub in strengthening ties with Central and South Asian countries, as well as other parts of the world," Ye said.

"About 800 foreign businessmen, mainly from Central and South Asia, have been drawn to this trade fair. The 100 display booths we've prepared for the businessmen are out of supply," said Zhou Yuhui, director of the Commercial Bureau of the Kashgar prefecture.

In the previous edition, the Kashgar Trade Fair secured trade cooperation contracts worth about 52.8 billion yuan ($8.3 billion), up 111.4 percent from the previous year.

Kashgar's trade with Central Asian countries grew fast in 2012. From January to May, foreign trade reached $230 million, up 17.6 percent from the same period of 2011.

Kashgar borders five countries - Pakistan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan and India - and has a 982-km-long frontier line and five border ports.