Xinjiang enterprises go full throttle to boost foreign trade
Optimized virus response measures accelerate work resumption
Published: Dec 16, 2022 03:47 PM Updated: Dec 17, 2022 12:00 AM
Customers pick carpets in Urumqi, Northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. Photo: VCG

Customers pick carpets in Urumqi, Northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. Photo: VCG

Walking into a factory operated by Saurer Xinjiang Intelligent Machinery Co, one finds a busy scene engulfed by the noise of machines, with technicians remotely controlling laser cutters and automatic guided vehicles shuttling through the assembly lines to transport materials.

"Our employees are now working overtime every day to meet the deadline for a batch of compact-spinning machines which will be exported to Türkiye," said Yan Yue, a manufacturing engineer at the company.

Yan added that 85 percent of the order, with a total value of nearly 100 million yuan ($14.39 million), has been completed, and all products will be manufactured before the end of December as planned.

Saurer mainly produces intelligent spinners for Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and countries along the Belt and Road. However, its production was affected by COVID-19 this year.

Many localities across China are moving fast to boost foreign trade and investment as the country has adjusted its COVID-19 response to facilitate the orderly recovery of normal life and production.

"As Xinjiang has further optimized COVID-19 response measures, helping enterprises solve difficulties in logistics and transportation and boosting work resumption, our production targets for this year can basically be achieved," said Pei Guoqing, head of the company.

The Xinjiang branch of Shaanxi Automobile Group has exported 50 truck tractors to Central Asia since late November, when it gradually resumed production, according to Shi Xinli, deputy general manager of the company.

"Apart from the Xinjiang market, our products such as dumping engineering trucks and towing vehicles are also gaining increasing popularity in foreign markets such as Russia and some Central Asian countries," Shi said.

This year, Chinese authorities at all levels have rolled out a string of favorable policies for COVID-19-hit enterprises and ratcheted up efforts to smooth industrial and supply chains.

The Industry and Information Technology Department of Xinjiang has coordinated to support "white list" companies in product sales, the procurement of raw materials and spare equipment parts, key project construction and cargo transportation, as they resume production amid the pandemic.

So far, more than 70 major firms with annual main business revenues of at least 20 million yuan in Xinjiang have resumed work and production, the department said.

On December 12, representatives of industry-leading enterprises from Xinjiang departed on a trip to Central Asian countries including Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan to seek business opportunities.

During the 10-day trip arranged by the regional government, Xinjiang businesses are expected to establish new contacts, engage in business negotiations and attend trade fairs.

Parhati Memetiyimin, executive vice general manager of Xinjiang Zhongtai Group Co, said the company will sign a large export deal for chemical products in Kazakhstan. The company is also seeking crude oil import opportunities during the trip, he added.

In recent years, Xinjiang has transformed from a relatively closed inland region to a frontier of China's opening-up. In the first 10 months of this year, the region's foreign trade volume soared 60.3 percent year-on-year to 194.8 billion yuan, according to Urumqi customs authorities.