Expo joins Eurasia

Updated: 2012-09-03 08:12

(China Daily)

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Business is often not only about business. The second China-Eurasia Expo, in which 55 countries and regions are participating, will prove to be a high-profile platform for boosting regional development and security.

Held in Urumqi, capital of the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, the expo will see more diversified participation not only from neighboring countries, but also from traditional Western powers, such as the United States, the Netherlands and Italy, and new emerging economic powerhouses like India and Brazil.

The growing inclusiveness of the expo testifies to the economic opening-up of inland Xinjiang and the increased attention the international community is paying to the region.

Xinjiang is on the ancient Silk Road that first linked European and Asian trade thousands of years ago, and its vast natural resources and borders with eight countries makes it economically and strategically important.

With the deepening of globalization, the region is set to revitalize its economic potential and play a major role in fostering an open economy as part of China's overall opening-up strategy.

Yet Xinjiang has to tap not only domestic resources, but also those from bordering Eurasian economies if it wants to pursue faster and healthier development. And Eurasian countries can strengthen exchanges with China via Xinjiang.

Their shared interests mean such economic exchanges, exemplified by the ongoing expo, will continue smoothly because policymakers have become increasingly aware of the importance of regional trade and investment.

A number of national leaders attending the expo is in itself a sign of such enhanced awareness and as Premier Wen Jiabao said on Sunday, the region should press on with regional cooperation and China is willing to facilitate financing for infrastructure building to promote regional economic links.

Economics aside, such cooperation has the potential of helping anchor regional security. Traditionally, the region has seen security problems, partly because of its underdeveloped economy.

Globalization offers a new solution to that problem: It can use the region's economic potential to solve the security problems by improving people's livelihood.

The Xinjiang expo is a worthy move by the regional powers to boost economic ties and enhance mutual understanding, which will lay a solid foundation for their deeper cooperation.

(China Daily 09/03/2012 page8)