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Xinjiang Official: Foreign Trade Growth Still Possible

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The top commerce official in Xinjiang said on Monay that it was possible the northwestern China region to reach its target of a 25-percent growth in foreign trade despite the global economic downturn and the July 5 riot.

"It's not easy, but we still have chance to realize the foreign trade target of US$27.8 billion this year," said He Yiming, director of the regional commerce department, quoted by Monday's local newspaper Morning Post.

The vast region, a major port for trade between China and neighboring Russia and Central Asian countries, reaped US$22.2 billion in foreign trade last year.

This year's 27.8-billion-dollar foreign trade target includes US$24 billion worth of exports and US$3.8 billion worth of imports.

According to the official Xinjiang's major trade partners, including Russia, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, were strongly interested in cooperating with Xinjiang and they would send delegations to the annual Urumqi trade fair scheduled to open in September.

"By the end of June, we had received applications for 103 booths from these countries as well as from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan," said He.

The Asian Development Bank and the members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization will also take part in the trade fair, he said

The official said Xinjiang's neighboring countries might have an increasing demand for daily necessities from China, such as clothes, textiles and agricultural products.

"Basically, people in these countries will not spend much on durable goods, like home appliance,

with limited incomes, and we have the advantage to supply textiles and agricultural products," said He.

The strong support from China's central government for the development in Xinjiang, such as the allocation of another 100 billion yuan to expand construction of railway, highway, airport and water networks, would definitely accelerate improvement in the region's infrastructure facilities and create better conditions for expanding its foreign trade, said the official.

(Xinhua News Agency July 21, 2009)