Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang (R) meets with Kazakh Prime Minister Karim Masimov
Urumqi - XINHUA
The fourth China-Eurasia Expo (CEE), a six-day international fair, opened in the northwestern Chinese city of Urumqi, capital of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region on Monday.
Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang attended the opening ceremony along with Kazakh Prime Minister Karim Masimov, Kyrgyz Prime Minister Zhoomart Otorbayev and Georgian Deputy Chairman of the Parliament Zviad Dzidziguri.
This year's expo theme "Opening up and Cooperation for Building Silk Road Economic Belt" aims at drawing regional economies together to discuss development strategies.
In his keynote speech, Wang lauded the economic belt, which involves over 40 Asian and European countries and regions with a combined population of 3 billion, telling participants at the expo that it will bring great opportunities for countries and regions along the route.
The Silk Road economic belt eyes the cultural revival of the Silk Road, which historically links China with Central Asia and Europe, as a way of developing political and economic ties.
Stressing the core values needed in reviving the Silk Road, Wang asked countries along the route to be inclusive and open-minded so as to reach a win-win situation. He urged streamlining trade procedures, improving industrial levels and building an efficient transportation network in a step toward a vigorous economic belt.
Five areas should be prioritized in the hugely ambitious scheme, including stepping up policy communication, improving road connectivity, promoting unimpeded trade, enhancing monetary circulation as well as increasing understanding among people, according to Wang.
The Silk Road economic belt has injected vitality into regional cooperation in Eurasia. The expo will help drive such cooperation further and contribute to common development, Li Jinzao, China's Vice Minister of Commerce, said during the opening ceremony.
The annual event attracted roughly 25,000 participants from China, 60 foreign countries and four international organizations. It will run from Sept. 1 to 6.
Zhang Chunxian, Xinjiang's Communist Party chief, said opening-up and cooperation are what is needed in building the route.
He said Xinjiang is sparing no efforts in building itself into a core hub of transportation, trade, finance, culture and healthcare services along the belt, adding the region is willing to work with countries in Eurasia to reach common prosperity.
With the building of the Silk Road economic belt high on the agenda, the expo will hold a host of significant forums to boost exchanges in terms of politics, economy, trade, energy as well as other fields.
The previous event witnessed the signing of some 1,000 domestic projects worth over 700 billion yuan (114 billion U.S. dollars). Foreign trade volume totaled about 5 billion dollars, according to organizers.
The expo was upgraded from a regional trade fair, the 19-year-old China Urumqi Foreign Economic Relations and Trade Fair, in September 2011 when the first international event was held.