The mainland has agreed to resume exports of silica sand, quartz sand and other natural sands to Hong Kong and Macao after banning the export of such materials on March 1, said Wang Xinpei, spokesperson for the Ministry of Commerce, on Monday.
The move will help provide enough natural sand for construction use in Hong Kong and Macao, which lack the natural resource and have been long relied on imports from the mainland, said Wang.
He said exports will resume on March 25.
The ministry had prohibited the export of natural sand to all countries and regions to protect the environment and resources, said Wang.
Strong international demand for natural sand, which is used in road building and other construction, has boosted China's exports, while excessive exploitation of sea sand has placed huge pressures on the country's protection of oceanic resources and the environment, according to the China Securities Journal.
The government will also consider easing the export restrictions to Taiwan to solve the difficulties of local construction industries, said Li Weiyi, spokesman for the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council.
(Xinhua News Agency March 14, 2007)