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China to Build Yunnan the Overpass Between Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean

June 9, 2009

KUNMING, China, June 9 /PRNewswire-Asia/ — The 17th Kunming Import &
Export Fair and The 2nd South Asian Countries Commodity Fair, which are
sponsored by the Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China, have
drawn the curtain on June 6, 2009, at the Kunming International Convention and
Exhibition Center. Meanwhile, GMS Economy Corridor Week was also held by the
Ministry of Commerce, People’s Government of Yunnan Province, Asian
Development Bank. Holding so many events promoting economic cooperation
activities in the same time fully embody Yunnan’s active and pragmatic posture
of paying great attention to the Southeast Asia region’s economic cooperation.

Due to the geographic location, Yunnan is an important place in China to
develop foreign trade. Since the fourth century BC, the South Silk Road, which
is from Yunnan to East Asian and South Asian, has been open. Sun Xiaohong,
Secretary-General of Kunming Import & Export Fair organizing committee and
Director-General, Department of Commerce, said that Yunnan was the only way to
combine the East, Southeast and South Asian regions as well as link the Indian
Ocean and Pacific Ocean. The strategic station is irreplaceable. If we combine
China and South Asian market via Yunnan, an emerging market will be formed and
also will significantly impact the world economy. Yunnan is the only province
which is adjacent to so many countries of ASEAN (the Association of Southeast
Asian Nations) and has the longest land boundary and the most landways. When
the west route of the Pan-Asian Railway and channel of China and Myanmar
through land and water transport opens, the transportation cost will be
further lessened and hinterland will be further enlarged.

Besides the geographic location, Yunnan possesses outstanding advantages
of historic culture, infrastructure and industry structure as well as plenty
of regional cooperation experience. Based on these factors, Yunnan attaches
great importance to economic and trade cooperation.

In the current situation of financial crisis, booths at the Kunming Import
& Export Fair exceed 2200, while those of the South Asian Countries Commodity
Fair rises and stands amount to more than 300. The included industries cover
costumes, mining, pharmacy, craftwork, bijouterie, building materials,
instrument, software information and tourism services, etc.

Gu Zhaoxi, Vice-Governor of Yunnan province and Li Jiming, Deputy Director
also attended GMS activities. Mr. Li Jiming stated that it was expected Yunnan
would play the irreplaceable role of enhancing the opening and further built
trade contacts.

Background

The Greater Mekong Sub-Region (GMS) Program, launched in 1992, signified
the beginning of a new phase of development in the region. Recognizing the
opportunities offered by geographical proximity, resource complementarities
and the onset of peace, six countries along the Mekong River — Cambodia,
People’s Republic of China (PRC), Lao Peoples’ Democratic Republic (Lao PDR),
Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam embarked on a program of sub-regional economic
cooperation for mutual benefit. As the program enters its second decade,
cooperation amongst the six countries in infrastructure development, trade,
and investment, in tandem with national reform and market opening measures,
has reaped considerable benefits, and the GMS is forging ahead strongly in
creating a dynamic and vibrant economic space in central Southeast Asia.

At the 11th GMS Ministerial Meeting in Phnom Penh in September 2002, the
GMS countries adopted a 10-Year Strategic Framework, which was subsequently
endorsed by the first GMS Summit held in November of the same year. The
Framework articulated a shared vision for the GMS: economic growth, equity and
prosperity for the sub-region over the long term. The Framework also
identified five strategic thrusts in pursuit of the vision:

    (i)   Strengthen infrastructure linkages through a multi-sectoral
          approach;
    (ii)  Facilitate cross-border trade and investment;
    (iii) Enhance private sector participation in development and improve
          its competitiveness;
    (iv)  Develop human resources and skill competencies; and
    (v)   Protect the environment and promote sustainable use of the
          sub-region's shared natural resources.

The Framework further identified ‘flagship’ programs in 11 key areas
linked to the strategic thrusts. These include transportation/economic
corridors; telecommunications and energy interchanges; cross-border trade and
investment; support for greater private sector participation in development;
joint initiatives for the management of the sub-region’s shared environment
and natural resources; development of human resources; and the promotion of
the GMS as a single tourism destination.

The 12th GMS Ministerial Meeting held in Dali City, Yunnan Province, PRC
in September 2003 laid down three building blocks for attaining the GMS vision:
connectivity, competitiveness, and community — the ‘Three Cs’. The Ministers
noted that whilst the first decade of the GMS Program had focused on building
connectivity through infrastructure linkages, the second decade should
concentrate on competitiveness if the GMS is to benefit from the process of
integration and globalisation. Building the competitiveness of the sub-region
would require GMS countries to focus on technological innovation, human
resource development, trade facilitation, and good governance. The Ministers
agreed to work towards an integrated development strategy to better link
national with sub-regional policies and programs, and to synchronize the
planning and programming of major investments.

Since the beginning of the GMS Program, the sub-region has witnessed a
significant expansion in the overall inflow of foreign direct investment (FDI).
Between 1992 and 2003 there was a sharp rise both in GMS countries’ total
exports (15% annual growth) and intra-regional exports (21% annual growth). In
Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam, the ratio of total trade to GDP (the ‘openness
ratio’) in 2003 exceeded 100%, compared to less than 60% in 1992. FDI flows
increased from $2.2 billion in 1992 to $5.2 billion in 2003. PRC and Thailand
– the two advanced countries in the GMS — have also been posting substantial
FDI outflows mostly directed at other Asian developing countries. PRC FDI
outflows reached a peak of $6.9 billion in 2001, up from $900 million of the
previous year, with the average outflow between 1999 and 2003 estimated at
about $2.78 billion. Thailand’s FDI outflows reached $557 million in 2003.

This growth of trade and investment in the GMS has resulted from a
combination of domestic trade and economic reforms in individual GMS countries,
complemented by trade liberalization initiatives at the regional and
multilateral levels, and the expansion of sub-regional transport
infrastructure. As a result, tariff levels have fallen rapidly, and the need
to generate GMS revenue through trade facilitation and investment measures has
become compelling.

The long-term goal of trade facilitation in the GMS is to strengthen trade
and investment integration in the sub-region, and trade cooperation with
countries outside it, through promoting the free movement of goods and people.
Trade facilitation efforts should lead to lower transaction costs and improved
service speeds for cross-border trade; and trade facilitation should also seek
to leverage neighbouring countries’ costs and comparative advantages, thus
contributing to GMS efforts to become a sub-regional production base.

A medium-term focus of GMS trade facilitation is to support the
development of hardware and software along the GMS economic corridors: the
construction and development of physical transport and trade infrastructure;
efficient clearance procedures at border crossings; improved trade
administration systems and institutions; and the active and extensive
application of information technology to promote transparency and efficiency
in trade transactions. These measures would contribute significantly towards
the development of integrated supply chains, supply chain support structures
(e.g. cool chain facilities and collection centres), and trade logistics hubs.

For more information, please visit http://www.gmsec.cn or send an email to
Gms20090606@gmail.com.

    For more information, please contact:

     Yang Yu
     Tel:   +86-10-6440-2865
     Email: Yu.yang@xinhuafinance.com

SOURCE Ministry of Commerce, People’s Government of Yunnan Province


Source: newswire



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