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Inner Mongolia Expands Intl Trade, Investment

By Zhao Shijun | China Daily | Updated: 2017-07-19 07:02

Autonomous region seizes new opportunities, strengthens ties to neighbors

The Inner Mongolia autonomous region wants to highlight its cooperation with countries related to the Belt and Road Initiative to boost its economic opening-up, according to the region's bureau of commerce.

Inner Mongolia has long been an important base for China's business cooperation with Mongolia and Russia to its north.

Since the Chinese government announced the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road Initiative in 2013, the autonomous region has regarded countries related to the initiative as major partners for its foreign trade and investment.

According to the Inner Mongolia Bureau of Commerce, the autonomous region's total foreign trade amounted to $11.7 billion in 2016, with trade with Belt and Road countries standing at $7.24 billion, accounting for about 62 percent.

Mongolia is the autonomous region's largest trade partner, with Russia coming in second.

Countries related to the initiative are also major partners for investment.

The commerce bureau's statistics show that businesses from Inner Mongolia had invested in 553 overseas projects by the end of 2016, with agreed investment totaling $10.95 billion. These include 404 projects in Belt and Road countries.

Mongolia and Russia again top the list of the autonomous region's outbound investment.

Businesses from Inner Mongolia funded 181 projects in Mongolia by the end of 2016, with agreed investment totaling $1.81 billion.

The autonomous region's companies invested in 177 projects in Russia, with agreed investment in combination amounting to $1.13 billion.

According to the bureau, Inner Mongolia's businesses mostly invested in operations related to international trade, resource utilization, services, manufacturing, agriculture, construction, transport and logistics, as well as cultural and creative industries in overseas regions.

The Belt and Road-related countries are also the major sources for inbound investment in the autonomous region.

The commerce bureau's statistics show that companies from these countries invested in 150 projects in Inner Mongolia by the end of 2016, with total pledged investment of $587.03 million.

Industries such as manufacturing, services, metallurgy and power generation are most favored by overseas investors, according to the bureau.

To enhance business ties with Belt and Road countries, the autonomous region has implemented a number of measures to facilitate international trade and investment.

According to the Inner Mongolia Bureau of Commerce, the region currently has 18 land ports for cross-border trade, with their throughput capacity leading the country.

The port in Manzhouli is the largest land port for Sino-Russian trade and the one in Erenhot is the largest land port for China's trade with Mongolia.

In 2016, cargo traded through these land ports totaled 78.87 million metric tons, growing 35.4 percent from the previous year. The number of passengers entering or exiting through the ports amounted to 5.32 million in the year, up 23.6 percent from 2015.

Inner Mongolia has a number of industrial zones and parks dedicated to trade and investment activities involving Belt and Road countries.

These include bonded areas in Chifeng, Manzhouli and Erdos, as well as border trade zones in Erenhot and Manzhouli.

The autonomous region's businesses have also built industrial parks in Russia and Mongolia.

The local government encourages the application of e-commerce in foreign trade business. There are already a number of e-commerce platforms for trade with Russia and Mongolia.

The government has also organized a number of trade and investment promotional events overseas and arranged local companies' attendance at international trade shows to facilitate business cooperation.

Inner Mongolia Expands Intl Trade, Investment

The pastoral life on the vast Mongolian Plateau constitutes a major attraction for tourists in the Inner Mongolia autonomous region.Hasbagna / For China Daily

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