China-Eurasia Expo kicks off in Xinjiang, boosts economic cooperation
Event highlights region’s openness, high-quality development
Published: Jun 26, 2024 09:23 PM
Dancers perform for tourists in Urumqi, Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region on January 1, 2024. Photo: VCG

Dancers perform for tourists in Urumqi, Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region on January 1, 2024. Photo: VCG

The 8th China-Eurasia Expo kicked off in Urumqi, capital of Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, on Wednesday, with participants from 50 countries, regions and international organizations, paving the way for strengthened economic cooperation in the Eurasian region.

The event, during which a series of cooperation agreements are expected to be inked, once again put on vivid display of the openness and high-quality development of Xinjiang, in addition to its vast development potential, offering a resounding rebuttal to some Western politicians and media outlets' malicious slander against the region, analysts said. 

Under the theme of "New Opportunities on the Silk Road, New Vitality for Asia and Europe," this year's expo will run through June 30. The expo will cover an area of 140,000 square meters with four major exhibition zones covering investment cooperation, international exhibition, special industries, and equipment manufacturing, according to Xinhua. 

The expo remains highly attractive for businesses in the region and from around the world. In total, more than 1,000 businesses and organizations from 50 countries, regions and international organizations, as well as more than 30 provincial level regions, including Xinjiang, signed up for this year's expo, according to official data. 

At the expo, more than 50 trade promotion activities will be held, with more than 200 projects expected to be signed at special promotion meetings and signing ceremonies, according to media reports. 

First launched in 2011, the China-Eurasia Expo is the only national and international comprehensive exhibition established in Xinjiang focusing on Western Asian and European countries. The expo plays an increasingly important role in promoting economic and trade cooperation between Asian and European countries.

"In recent years, China's economic and trade cooperation with Eurasian countries has accelerated rapidly, demonstrating that as the world's second-largest economy, China is committed to promoting joint development with regional countries," Bai Ming, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, told the Global Times on Wednesday.

Bai said that China's vast consumer market and robust manufacturing industry offer great opportunities for development in the Eurasian region, and Xinjiang, as the bridgehead for China's westward opening-up, plays an increasingly important role in promoting regional cooperation. 

The expo and the country's broader opening-up have also greatly helped boost Xinjiang's economic and social development and continue to offer great opportunities for Xinjiang businesses. Many Xinjiang-based businesses are seizing the expo to showcase their products and services in pursuit of greater development, the Global Times learned from businesses representatives attending the expo.  

"Our company will take advantage of the brand benefits of the China-Eurasia Expo to gain greater market space," Li Jun, president of Xinjiang Yingduolan Pharmaceutical Industry Medicine Co, told the Global Times on Wednesday, adding that the company will showcase its traditional medicines at the expo.

The company has been exploring international markets through various platforms, and will continue to invest in overseas markets in the Middle East and South Asia, Li said, noting that the firm has seen strong growth in both sales and production, with sales in the first half of 2024 surging 31 percent year-on-year. 

The company's growing overseas sales is also in line with Xinjiang's growing trade, thanks to a range of national and regional opening-up measures, including the Belt and Road Initiative and the establishment of the China (Xinjiang) Pilot Free Trade Zone, the first such zone in China's northwestern border region. 

In the first four months of 2024, Xinjiang's total imports and exports reached 137.9 billion yuan, surging 49.5 percent year-on-year, the second-fastest growth rate nationwide, according to official data. Meanwhile, thanks to the robust growth in foreign trade, Xinjiang's regional GDP expanded by 5.6 percent in the first four months. 

"In recent years, Xinjiang has steadily promoted exchange and cooperation with neighboring countries in medicine and health care, science and technology, education, cultural tourism and other aspects by leveraging the momentum of the Belt and Road Initiative," Zhou Yinghao, a senior analyst at the Bank of Urumqi, told the Global Times on Wednesday.

More than a platform for promoting cooperation, the China-Eurasia Expo also offers a great opportunity for international visitors to witness the openness and high-quality development of Xinjiang, which has been targeted by a relentless smearing campaign by some Western politicians and media outlets, analysts said. 

In the face of baseless smearing against Xinjiang from some anti-China forces in the US and some other Western countries, "I believe that the expo is also an opportunity for the outside world to once again see Xinjiang's rapid and high-quality development, and it will also help Xinjiang enterprises 'go global' and strengthen investment cooperation with overseas economic and trade cooperation zones and industrial clusters to achieve mutual benefit and win-win results," Zhou said.