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China to Boost Processing Trade in Central, Western Areas

The Chinese Government has launched a new scheme to boost the development of processing trade in central and western areas, a spokesman with the Ministry of Commerce said.

The scheme is aimed to open wider the central and western areas to the outside world and narrow the yawning regional disparity, Wang Xinpei, the ministry spokesman told a press conference held here Thursday.

According to the scheme, nine cities in the country's central and western areas were selected as areas to receive processing trade industries and technologies transferred from economically developed eastern regions.

The nine cities include Nanchang and Ganzhou in Jiangxi Province, Wuhan in Hubei Province, Hefei and Wuhu in Anhui Province, Taiyuan in Shanxi Province, Xinxiang and Jiaozuo in Henan Province, and Binzhou in Hunan Province.

According to the scheme, financial support such as loans with favorable interest rates and bond underwriting services, will be granted to the selected areas to facilitate processing trade transfers.

Wang said more cities that boast regional advantages and cost competitiveness will be added to the scheme.

The scheme was released by the MOC and the China Development Bank, one of the nation's three policy banks.

Exports in processing trade from the central and western areas account for only 2.8 percent of the country's total, said Wang.

Official figures show China's foreign trade volume amounted to US$1.76 trillion for the first 10 months of 2007, of which, about 45.3 percent was achieved from processing trade.

The total processing trade volume included US$497.3 billion in export value, up 21.4 percent on the same period of last year.

(Xinhua News Agency November 23, 2007)

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