Tibet promotes BRI-related economies, improves connections with South Asia

Source:Global Times Published: 2019/6/20 22:13:41

Forum guests visit Barkhor Street in Lhasa, capital city of southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region, June 13, 2019. The Forum on the Development of Tibet, China will be held on Friday in the regional capital Lhasa. Nearly 160 scholars, officials, and correspondents from over 37 countries and regions are scheduled to attend the forum, hosted by the State Council Information Office and the Tibetan regional government. (Xinhua/Zhou Jinshuai)

Southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region reported a 12.2 percent year-on-year increase in its trade with countries and regions along the routes of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in the first five months, as it pursues the construction of an important channel for China to open up to South Asia.

Its trade with BRI markets totaled 1.38 billion yuan ($201.42 million) from January to May, up 12.2 percent year-on-year, according to local news site tibet.cn on Thursday, which cited data from local customs.

Tibet's largest export market is Nepal, with 99.8 percent of its exports going to the country from January to May, said the report. The trade value with Nepal was up 11.85 percent year-on-year.

"Sitting on the southwest border of China, Tibet has always been a vital gateway for China's exchanges with South Asia," Yang Minghong, professor at Yunnan University, told the Global Times on Thursday.

To improve the channel between China and South Asia, Tibet adopted comprehensive measures to integrate its ports, cities, and industries that are closely connected with neighboring countries and regions to foster a major economic exchange channel.

"Besides its unique geographical advantage, Tibet's infrastructure could also meet the requirements of unimpeded trade with neighboring countries in South Asia, including transportation," Yang said.

Tibet has launched several border ports, such as the one in Gyirong county, which have been important driving forces for the economic development of the border areas, according to a report on local news site xizang.gov.cn in 2018.

South Asian countries have strong needs in terms of economic development and infrastructure enhancement amid the weak global economy. A promising market brought by China and a smooth trade route cultivated through the Tibet Autonomous Region would be a great support and driving force for countries and regions along the BRI, Yang noted.

As a critical inland frontier, Tibet has been highlighted in multiple construction plans of China, which have brought Tibet great opportunities to develop.

The local bureau of statistics said that Tibet's GDP reached 147.76 billion yuan in 2018, up 9.1 percent year-on-year, with GDP per capita at $6,558, a rise of 7 percent year-on-year. The high-speed growth topped China's provincial economic performance list in 2018, according to media reports. 

Posted in: ECONOMY

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