China-Eurasia Expo opens in Xinjiang
Updated: 2012-09-03 10:26
URUMQI -- The second China-Eurasia Expo, a six-day international fair, opened on Sunday in the northwestern Chinese city of Urumqi, capital of Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region.
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, along with several foreign leaders, attended the opening ceremony of the expo, scheduled to run from Sept 2 to 7 under the theme of "harmonious development, win-win cooperation."
The expo, aiming to fast-track economic cooperation at the heart of Eurasia, attracted leaders from eight countries, including Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Afghanistan, and participants from 55 countries and regions.
Chen Deming, China's Minister of Commerce, said at the opening ceremony that the expo, a platform to promote economic development and common prosperity, is becoming increasingly important against the backdrop of the spreading international financial crisis and mounting downward pressure on the economy.
"Xinjiang is speeding up reforms and opening-up," said Zhang Chunxian, secretary of the Xinjiang regional committee of the Communist Party of China, at the opening ceremony. "We are upgrading our capabilities to serve Eurasian countries."
The expo was upgraded from a regional trade fair, the 19-year-old China Urumqi Foreign Economic Relations and Trade Fair, in September 2011, when the first expo was held.
The previous event witnessed the signing of 178 contracts under which domestic enterprises would invest in Xinjiang with a total value of 185 billion yuan ($29.14 billion), as well as $5.5 billion in foreign trade contracts, according to the organizers.