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Gateway Project to Improve Trade, Infrastructure

China Daily, June 1, 2011 Adjust font size:

A meeting was held in Ruili, southwest China's Yunnan on Monday, to advocate its officials to accelerate its progress of building the province into China's southwest gateway.

China's central government announced that it was making Yunnan a national gateway, as part of its overall strategy, on May 6.

This Gateway Project is expected to last 10 years: five years for the first phrase, and the second phrase to run from 2016 to 2020.

The central government said that it plans to build Yunnan into a southwestern gateway, a major base for outwardly focused industries, and a pioneer in its outward-bound strategy.

The government said Yunnan needs to improve its infrastructure, regional development plans, and economic and trade cooperation, and take advantage of its resources and location, while protecting the ecology and environment to help it open up in an all-round way.

The central government said it will support Yunnan through tax policies, financing, investment, and various forms of compensation. It will increase investment in the province and have preferential policies for local projects and clean energy projects.

"The announcement is expected to help Yunnan's economic and social development. The opening-up atmosphere in Yunnan is expected to get stronger, as will foreign demand for its industries, infrastructure will improve, and communications with surrounding countries will grow," said Bai Enpei, Yunnan's provincial Party secretary.

China and Southeast and South Asia have immense market potential and Yunnan, itself. The province has been working on an advanced communication and transportation network that links Southeast Asia and South Asia, said Hu Liequ, of the Yunnan Foreign Financial Cooperation Research Center and a professor at Yunnan University of Finance and Economics.

The gateway strategy will benefit the local people and promote social well being because it will help economic growth and provide employment opportunities, according to Chen Lijun, head of the Yunnan Social Science Academy's South Asia Research Institute.

Yunnan started the Gateway Project in 2009, in response to remarks by China's President Hu Jintao about making Yunnan "a major gateway" for Chinese co-operation with Southeast and South Asia and the Mekong River valley.

Ruili now is one of the most developed cities in Yunnan and it was approved by the National Development and Reform Commission to be a national-level pilot opening-up city last year.

The province held a foundation-laying ceremony in Ruili, inaugurating the construction of the Baorui section of the Dali-Ruili railway line, which is a crucial part of the Trans-Asian Railway. Longrui (from Longlin to Ruili ) highway was also inaugurated.

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