Shandong enhances cooperation with SCO member countries
(chinadaily.com.cn)| Updated : 2018-05-18Print Print
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As the rotating president of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), China will hold an SCO Qingdao Summit in June this year, which will be the first summit after the SCO's expansion.
The summit is one of the most important of China's home-based diplomatic activities in 2018. It is an international event with global influence and will be hosted by Shandong. In recent years, Shandong has implemented more active and open initiatives to encourage rapid development of the open economy.
The First Gwadar International Product Fair was held at Linyi Mall in Gwadar, Pakistan, in January, which attracted nearly 130 companies from China and Pakistan. The overseas shopping mall is playing a huge role.
Gwadar is a small fishing village in Pakistan's southwest. Located near the throat of the Persian Gulf, it is the closest seaport for the landlocked countries of Central Asia including Afghanistan and Uzbekistan. Three years ago, Linyi Mall rented land near Gwadar Port and invested 500 million yuan to build an overseas mall, making it a place for global shopping as well as a fully functional regional international trade logistics center.
"In addition to its natural geographical location and free trade zone preferential policies, what we value is the construction of the China-Pakistan economic corridor," said Zhuang Weiguo, director of the Economic and Trade Development Bureau of the Linyi Shopping Mall Management Committee.
Since the establishment of the SCO, its circle of friends has continued to expand. It has also attracted many Shandong companies to seek new business opportunities in member countries. Weichai India branch is the first factory built by Weichai in a foreign country. Through this plant, Weichai has successfully introduced marine products, hydraulic products and high-power generator sets into the South Asian market and achieved historic breakthroughs. Weichai has built 30 service stations in the region. The company’s sales service network of ship machines covers the Indian coastline and its market share has reached 45 percent.
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At present, Shandong has established national overseas economic and trade cooperation zones in Pakistan and Russia. Haier Group, Weichai Power and Himile Group have set up factories in India to conduct international cooperation in manufacturing and production of home appliances, engines and molds.
While “going out”, Shandong also actively set up a platform for “bringing in”. In the Sino-Russian Science and Technology Innovation Park in the Yantai Hi-tech Industrial Development Zone, Russian businessman Andre is in the process of registering a company and looking for a Chinese partner for a wheel-drive device business. Andre said, "The infrastructure here is perfect, and any start-ups can get strong support."
Yantai was one of the earliest cities seeking cooperation between China and countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States. Based on the good foundation of non-governmental exchanges between the two places, Yantai established the park to promote high-level scientific and technological exchanges between China and Russia. It has achieved cooperation on 129 new materials and bioengineering projects.
In 2017, Shandong’s trade volume with the SCO was 118.6 billion yuan ($18.6 billion), of which exports were 68.2 billion yuan and imports were 50.4 billion yuan. Though it accounts for no more than 6 percent of Shandong’s total foreign trade volume, the development potential is huge.
Shi Qidong, deputy director of the Asia and Africa Division of the Department of Commerce of Shandong Province, said that India is the world's second most populous country. Pakistan has more than 200 million people and Russia has more than 100 million. These are all large markets with good potential for growth. Their economic growth rate will be over 5 percent in the next few years.
"The SCO Summit in Shandong will play a leading role, and we will study and analyze these countries as the next step; that is why I think we will have great development opportunities soon," he added.