Free Trade Zones

Western regions on the fast track to quality development

CHENGDU, Sept. 21 (Xinhua) – A day before the 18th West China International Fair (WCIF) opens from Sept. 16 to 20, DPD Group, one of Europe’s leading parcel delivery networks, has installed a new regional headquarters in Chengdu, capital of the Chinese province of Sichuan (southwest).

This is the group’s fourth regional headquarters in mainland China, after those in Beijing, Shanghai and Zhengzhou.

“It is a natural process for large logistics companies to expand their presence from coastal regions to inland regions. Chengdu, the only city in central and western China with two international airports, will provide new opportunities for DPD to expand e-commerce logistics activities from China to Europe and South Asia. -Is, ”said Johnson Zhang, DPD group chief representative for Greater China.

Zhang added that from October, the group will operate six cargo flights from Chengdu to London, Paris and Amsterdam every week.

After China introduced the Western Development Strategy in 1999, the country’s western regions have made remarkable progress. Accelerating GDP growth in western China suggests a narrowing of the development gap between eastern and western China.

A new guideline on advancing high-quality development in the western regions was released last year, which will present a still promising development perspective for the regions.

The modernization and transformation of traditional industries and the emergence of new industries are constantly expanding the prospects of the western regions. A total of 758 investment projects were signed at this year’s WCIF.

The Tibet Autonomous Region in southwest China, which has rich cultural resources and local specialties such as highland barley and yak, was lagging behind in large-scale development due to a lack of criteria, certificates and investments.

Last year, Tibet created a regional brand, namely “The Third Pole of the Earth”, to boost these industries through brand marketing, standardized production so that these industries can better serve rural vitalization and stimulate high quality development.

“We have implemented blockchain-based source tracing, third-party certification, product assurance and other measures to help Tibet’s signature products achieve supply-side structural reform,” he said. said Gele Basang, head of Lhasa-based industrialist The Third Pole of the Earth. Development Co., Ltd.

This is the first time that Luis Schmidt Montes, Ambassador of Chile to China, has attended WCIF. “I have been deeply impressed by the significant achievements of the western regions of China in scientific and technological innovation, especially in the fields of new energy vehicles, artificial intelligence and 5G technology,” said he declared at the show.

Statistics show that the number of freight trains departing from China and Europe to the western region continues to increase and is more than half of the country’s total.

Last year, the number of rail-to-sea intermodal trains in the new land-sea corridor in western China registered a 105 percent year-over-year increase. The western regions are now home to five pilot free trade zones, 40 full bonded zones and 47 state-level economic development zones.

The Chengdu-Chongqing Economic Circle under construction is expected to provide further impetus to boost economic growth and quality development in western regions, with 252 agreements already signed since its establishment early last year.