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Binhai New Area Firmly Occupies the Bridgehead Position on Sino-Mongolian-Russian Economic Corridor
2016-11-25 17:01:44 editor:严玉霞
  

  Picture: Chinese and foreign experts carried out a heated discussion regarding the construction of Sino-Mongolian-Russian economic corridor  

  Sub-forum of Northeast Asian Peace and Development Binhai Forum  

  Foreign experts attending the forum spoke at the scene  

  The views of the experts at the forum attracted wide attention

  On September 13, the development and reform commission officially released the Outline of planning for the construction of Sino-Mongolian-Russian economic corridor, meaning that the first multilateral cooperation program under the framework of one belt and one road was officially started and implemented. As the intersection at the north end of one belt and one road, Binhai New Area is also the major node of Sino-Mongolian-Russian economic corridor and the nearest starting point in the east of Eurasian Continental Bridge. With the superposition of these advantages, how shall we look at the impact of the construction of the economic corridor on China, Mongolia and Russia? How shall the New Area reflect its own macro value in the region? How shall enterprises seize the regional advantages to seek for larger development space? These are all questions in need of deep thinking.

  On September 21, 2016 Northeast Asian Peace and Development Binhai Forum was held in the New Area. With the main purpose of “seeking for common security and promoting common development”, the forum mainly discussed the issues such as the promotion of construction of one belt and one road and Sino-Mongolian economic corridor. Experts, scholars and businessmen from China, Russia, Mongolia, the United States and other countries carried out heated discussion on topics such as the regional cultural exchange and communication, the advantages and cooperation path of Tianjin and the cooperation and achievement transformation of the think tank from the academic and practical perspectives, so as to provide a wide range of ideas for the construction prospects and path of Sino-Mongolian economic corridor.

  Cooperation among China, Mongolia and Russia

  How to get what each one needs

  As said by Chen Weiming in an interview, there is currently a very special phenomenon in Northeast Asia, namely: the degree of economic activity among China, Japan and South Korea is very high, but the three countries have the “cold” situation in terms of politics; while China, Mongolia and Russia have the opposite situation of high political mutual trust, yet low economic activity. Therefore, in his opinion, the creation of the Sino-Mongolian-Russian economic corridor will have far-reaching impact on the three countries in the economic and trade areas.

  In the opinion of Sergey Igornajeff, deputy director of Chinese economy and politics department of Primakov International Economy and International Relations Institute of Russian Academy of Sciences, Russia is currently interfered by the restrictive factors of western countries, so it wishes to strengthen the cooperation with the entire Asia-Pacific region to make up for the loss. Therefore, it is very important for its Far East and Lake Baikal development plan to cooperate with Asia-Pacific countries. For China, the construction of Sino-Mongolian economic corridor is also very necessary for the development of inland areas, as well as an important process practicing the policy of one belt and one road. While for Mongolia, the cooperation with China and Russia will stimulate its domestic economic development. If Mongolia wants to develop their transportation infrastructure and realize more value on this economic corridor, it will become inevitable for it to expand economic relation with the two major neighbors of China and Russia.

  At the same time, Sergey Igornajeff has also expressed that Russia will experience a series of financial difficulties in the next three to five years, as a result, many Russian enterprises will not consider making investment in Sino-Mongolian-Russian economic corridor, which will increase the difficulty of financing. In future, China will become the major financing source for the economic corridor.

  According to Xue Jinwen, chairman of president of Tianjin Federation of Social Science, in terms of China, in addition to playing an important role in building Tianjin into an important node on one belt and one road, the starting point of the eastern side of Eurasian Continental Bridge, a major node of Sino-Mongolian-Russian economic corridor and a strategic fulcrum of the maritime cooperation, Heilongjiang, Jilin and Liaoning can also rely on the Sino-Mongolian-Russian economic corridor to build city alliance among the three provinces and strengthen the construction of the cross-border transport system, the grand logistics channels and the overseas economic and trade parks, so as to stimulate the common development of their trade and investment through the development of cross-border logistics. Hebei Province and Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region of China can also make full use of the advantages in terms of location, transport and culture to mainly build important logistics and passenger channels between the hinterland of China and Russian and Mongolia, so as to play the role of a foreign investment information platform and a logistical support base for foreign engineering contracting.

  How important is the role of the New Area in the construction of Sino-Mongolian-Russian economic corridor?

  Last month, the trial operation of Sino-Mongolian-Russian international road freight was started to officially opening up the international road transport line among Tianjin Port (China), Ulaanbaatar (Mongolia) and Ulan Ude (Russia). According to Chen Weiming, deputy director of Tianjin People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, it is a beneficial attempt of matching China’s “Road and Belt Initiatives”, Mongolian plan of “Prairie Road” and Russian strategy of “Great Eurasian Partnership” in the field of transport. The opening of this line will lay a foundation for the three countries to further improve the relevant laws, regulations and standard systems, promote international road transport facilitation, further promote the flow of resources among China, Mongolia and Russia, and improve the economic and trade exchange among them.

  It is understood that Mongolia and Russia are the first neighboring countries who have established cooperation relationship with China in the field of international road transport. In 2005, China completed the freight transport of 24.61 million tons with Russia and Mongolia, accounting for 65.7% of the international road freight between China and all other countries.

  As the largest port in northern China, Tianjin Port is an important starting point connecting the new Eurasian Continental Bridge economic corridor and Sino-Mongolian-Russian international economic cooperation corridor. Currently, Tianjin Port has opened nearly 30 shipping lines to South Korea and Japan at the frequency of over 110 ships every month. It is a strong support for Tianjin to undertake goods of Japan and South Korea. At the same time, it is also the only port owning three cross-border channels for continental bridges, namely Manzhouli, Erenhot and Alataw Pass, showing obvious channel advantage.

  As an inland country, Mongolia currently has over 95% of its maritime freight be transshipped through Tianjin Port. Along with the implementation of the idea of Sino-Mongolian-Russian economic corridor, the amount of imports and exports of Mongolia shows an upward trend and obviously more dependence on Tianjin Port. In addition, Tianjin Port also plays a crucial role in the trade and transport between Mongolia and Russia, China and Russia, and Russian and other countries.

  Chen Weiming told the reporter, “in the traditional line, it takes more than 70 days for goods to be shipped from Japan to St. Petersburg in Russia. But if the goods land on Tianjin Port and the transported to St. Petersburg via railway through Manzhouli or Erenhot, it takes about only 25 days. The transport time and cost are greatly reduced. The Sino-Mongolian-Russian economic corridor includes two lines. One of the lines starts from Tianjin Port and goes to Europe via Siberia railway through Erenhot, Ulan Bator and Irkutsk. In this way, it connects the Circum-Bohai-Sea economic circle in China and the European economic circle to form a northern channel from Asia to Europe.”

  In recent years, the amount of imports and exports between Tianjin and Russia has shown the significant upward trend. According to statistics, Tianjin achieved the total imports and exports of 863 million US dollars, including 662 million US dollars of exports and 201 million US dollars of imports, to Russia last year. Currently, Tianjin has been integrated into the construction planning for one belt and one road to involve more than 20 key Russian projects covering oil, shipping, aviation, heavy machinery, free trade area and other fields. Among which, the project reached by China National Petroleum Corporation and Rosneft Oil with the total amount of five billion US dollars will settle in Nangang Industrial Zone and is planned to be launched before 2019. The bridgehead position of Binhai New Area in the Sino-Mongolian-Russian economic corridor has been further consolidated.

  In face of cooperation and development opportunities

  How can enterprises keep developing based on the success?

  In recent years, Tianjin and Mongolia have maintained good relations of cooperation. Senior leaders from both parties have frequent mutual visit and Tianjin and Ulan Bator have rich exchanges. Particularly in 2009, Tianjin and Mongolia signed a memorandum of deepening economic and trade cooperation. At present, Tianjin and Mongolia have carried out in-depth discussion in the fields such as crude oil processing, coal transportation, business investment, financial support, tourism, aviation and urban and infrastructure construction.

  In terms of Chinese and Russian trade, professor Wang Dianhua, director of the international economy and trade department of Tianjin University of Science and Technology, believes that the quality and security standard of Russian agricultural products and food are higher than those of China. Because EU and the United States take austerity measures towards Russia, not these products are exported to China in a large amount. Therefore, agricultural product trade between China and Russia will become a new economic growth point. Wang Dianhua said, “Russia mainly carries out energy and mineral export. At present, the cooperation between China and Russia in the field of energy will continue to deepen. While in terms of cooperation in scientific and technological innovation industries, Tianjin Binhai New Area can carry out industrial cooperation with Russia in the fields such as aerospace and aviation and automotive equipment manufacturing. In addition, cross-border e-commerce will also become a new economic growth point.”

  As for new economic growth points of Sino-Mongolian-Russian economic corridor, Tumen Baryal, president of Mongolian Railway Group believes that the logistics industry will be the focus of cooperation and development of the three countries. He said, “We plan to build a logistics park of about 100,000 square meters in Tianjin Port to facilitate the freight import and export for Mongolia. At the same time, resources of Mongolia are all exported in the nature of semi-products and we can process these semi-products in this logistics park to increase product value. In addition, food cold storage and other business will become key business for our planning and construction of the logistics park.”

  Guo Hongliang, deputy general manager of SWIFT Transport Group, also holds the same point of view with President Tumen Baryal. According to him, logistics is the basis of trade. Only through the opening up of logistics, can trade and capital be opened up and exchanges be strengthened. Currently, the company operates nearly 20,000 TEUs of goods between China and Russia every year. It has the largest operation scale among single companies between China and Russia.

  Chen Weiming told the reporters that the Sino-Mongolian-Russian economic corridor is just like a grand channel, which will make a difference to logistics. On the other hand, China, Mongolia and Russia have highly complementary economies. Particularly, Tianjin owns very strong capability in its manufacturing industry and is able to conduct more cooperation with Mongolia and Russia. In addition, he has also expressed that the Sino-Mongolian-Russian economic corridor has very strong political trust and political security, which can eliminate many political risks for Chinese enterprises to participate in the construction of the economic corridor and provide more business opportunities.

 
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