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Jilin to Host 3rd Northeast Asia Trade Expo
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The third China Jilin Northeast Asia Investment and Trade Expo will be held from September 2 to 6 at the International Conference and Exhibition Center in Changchun, capital of Northeast China's Jilin Province.


The investment and trade event is jointly sponsored by the Ministry of Commerce, the Office of the Leading Group of the State Council for Revitalizing the Old Industrial Bases in Northeast and Other Areas of China, and the Jilin provincial government.


The annual expo, seen as China's endeavor to promote economic exchange and regional cooperation with Northeast Asian countries, aims at building a long-term cooperative platform between the nations, according to the expo organizing committee.


Northeast Asia, with an area of nearly 17.28 million sq km and an estimated population of 680 million, includes northern China, Russia's far-eastern region, Japan, the Republic of Korea (ROK), the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and Mongolia.


At present, China's trade with these five countries accounts for a quarter of its total foreign trade volume.


Jilin Province, which has borders with Russia, DPRK, ROK and Japan, is a core area in Northeast Asia.


With 2,200 standard exhibition booths, the upcoming expo in Jilin's capital is expected to attract 50,000 domestic and foreign business people.


More than 60 high-ranking government officials from around the world and 80 Fortune Global 500 companies are also expected to attend the event.


A number of international conferences will be held during the expo, the topics for which will include the development of biotechnology in Cuba, the development strategy on biological chemicals and African economic cooperation.


The first Northeast Asia Economic and Trade Cooperation Forum is a new highlight of the expo in which ministers or vice-ministers of the six Northeast Asian countries are expected to participate.


High-level forum


The high-level forum will cover three topics: services and goods trade and development of the logistics industry, financial cooperation and investment development, and legal service and intellectual property protection.


Meanwhile, a string of business activities such as Russia Business Week, DPRK Business Day, ROK Business Day, Mongolia Business Day and Japan Business Day will be held as part of the expo.


The host province also plans to showcase its investment environment and cooperative projects at the expo.


The organizing committee said that 537 projects with investment value of 30 million yuan and above each will be introduced to visitors at 10 investment project presentations covering various fields, including automobiles and auto parts and petrochemicals.


The number of big projects in the province with investment value exceeding 100 million yuan each is registered at 317, accounting for more than half of the total inventory.


Spurring local economy


"Hosting the Northeast Asia Investment and Trade Expo is expected to drive the growth of Jilin's economy," said Han Changbin, governor of the province.


"The expo will stimulate urban construction and the development of the province's commerce, dining, tourism and communication sectors," he added.


Since the central government decided to revitalize traditional industrial bases in Northeast China in 2003, the province has seen rapid economic development, with substantial investment growth in fixed assets, said Han.


The previous sessions of the expo, in 2005 and 2006, played a key role in spurring further revitalization of the old industrial bases.


Statistics show that $292 million worth of foreign trade agreements were signed during the first expo and the number of investment projects was 163, while at the second expo the figures grew to $384 million and 256 projects. Proprietary hi-tech projects of the province were highlighted at the 2006 expo, which attracted more than 40,000 participants.


Hosting the international event has helped Jilin display the progress made by its vibrant economy after implementation of the opening-up process.


As the expo expands its influence around the world, more attention is directed toward the host province.


"Through the expo, we have perceived the hospitality of the people of Jilin and the vast business opportunities in the province," said an exhibitor from Tianjin in North China at the second expo.


Early this year in Shanghai, the expo was named as one of the 10 most influential Chinese exhibitions sponsored by governments for the year 2006, topping other exhibitions held in northern regions that were on the list.


Well-prepared event


Buoyed by the experience of hosting two successful previous sessions, the organizers started preparatory work for the third expo quite early.


In fact, they had already begun extending invitations for the event's third edition to business people participating in the second expo last year.


Local governments of the province have made advance preparation for the upcoming premium business event a priority, to ensure greater success.


Changchun has been spruced up and construction of new exhibition facilities has been completed.


A service guide for customs clearance has been posted in six languages - Chinese, English, Russian, Korean, Japanese and Mongolian - on the official website of the expo.


The authorities of the three provinces in Northeast China -- Liaoning, Jilin and Heilongjiang -- and the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region in North China have signed a framework for cooperation on customs clearance, which is expected to facilitate passage through the border ports and improve the efficiency of customs clearance.


A series of artistic performances to be staged during the event will help strengthen the festive atmosphere in the provincial capital city.


(China Daily August 31, 2007)

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