Shaanxi Accelerates the Construction of the "Belt and Road": Opening towards the West and Embracing the World

2017-01-14 14:23:20 , Source : The Government Website of Shaanxi Province

"My hometown Shaanxi is the start point of the Silk Road." Those affectionate words of General Secretary Xi Jinping made the world focusing on Shaanxi. Chang'an is the center of the world political and economic landscape two thousand years ago; after two thousand years, the "Belt and Road" strategy will make Shaanxi write a significant chapter in the world development landscape.

In the world economic landscape, the "Belt and Road" strategy makes the position of Shaanxi more clear. On May 23, Chinese International Silk Road Film Theatre was settled in Xi'an. The project proves the immortal charm of Shaanxi in respect of the Silk Road elements. If the culture is just one dimension of the elements of Shaanxi Silk Road, then economic and trade, education, science and technology, etc., there are more that Shaanxi may show the world. China - Europe Freight Trains achieved the normalized operation, Xi'an accomplished "72 hours transit without visa", "Silk Road University Alliance" was established, Shaanxi became the first tax refund province in northwest regions......Opening up to the west, Shaanxi is getting more and more international.

From the propose of the "Belt and Road" strategy to the release of "Belt and Road" 2016 Action Plan, Shaanxi is integrating into the "Belt and Road" pattern actively in recent years, conduct the pilot, key breakthrough in infrastructure interoperability, economic and trade exchanges as well as cultural exchanges, the start point of the ancient Silk Road is speeding up to the "new highland" of the inland reform and opening up.

Road first, "Air, Land and digital" Broad Channel Initially Formed

In the spring, Xi'an - Almaty route launched, becoming the first route to Central Asia on the Silk Road, adding new highlights for the new starting point construction of Shaanxi Silk Road Economic Zone. CEO of the Kazakhstan SCAT airlines Vladimir said, the reason to choose Xi'an is that the location of Xi'an is just like China's heart, transiting to other cities from Xi'an is very convenient.

The location advantage of "Like a heart" makes Shaanxi interoperability ability improves comprehensively. Since last year, Shaanxi has added several airlines, Xi'an to Moscow, Paris, San Francisco and other cities, achieving the direct flights, and the airline of Xi'an to Dubai and others will be launched. In the meantime, the highway mileage increased 620km, and the new railway mileage increased 367km. Xi'an national internet backbone peering points started, Xi'an cross-border e-commerce service pilot operated smoothly, convenient and efficient "Land, Air and digital" Broad Channel formed initially.

On March 28, the first "Land-Air transport" cross-border e-commerce freight direct route in China was launched, departure from Amsterdam in the Netherlands, landing on Xi'an successfully. Therefore, the international logistics cycle of the goods decreased by two-thirds, the logistics cost dscreased by a quarter. With the national, international code officially enabled, Xi'an logistic park has become the "port of destination" and "port of departure" in international trade transportation, "One declaration, one inspection and one release". Established the rapid communication and coordination mechanism with the coastal ports of Shanghai Port, Tianjin Port and others to the east and the border ports of Khorgos Port, AlaShankou Port and others to the west, achieving the customs clearance in those regions through the cooperation with coastal and border ports. According to the calculation of Xi'an Customs Department, the average clearance time of import and export reduced by 50% than it used to be.

Deep ploughing and intensive cultivation, economic and trade, cultural exchanges are more frequent gradually

On May 20, the "Chang'an" freight train with 2000 tons virgin oil drove into Xinjiang Alashankou port from Kazakhstan, then arrived at Xi'an Logistic Park - this is the first return trains since the "Chang'an" freight train in operation. This means since the implementation of the "Belt and Road" strategy, Shaanxi has accomplished the real "back-and-forth" with the trade in central Asian railway. The International Department Secretary of Ai Ju Group who benefited from it Li Lin said, this is just a beginning, the company will also invest and build grain and oil processing base in Kazakhstan.

In addition to the railway trade, the simultaneous resonance of the high level introduction and large scale of go out, making the new two-way investment in normalization - focusing on internationalization, specialization and high-end, concentrating on characteristic competitive industries, China-South Korea, China-Kazakhstan, China- Kyrgyzstan, China-Italy and other international cooperation concentration zones are speeding up the construction. During the "13th Five-Year", Shaanxi will build 30 international cooperation industrial parks facing to those countries along the "Belt and Road". At the same time, multi-fields cooperation between Shaanxi Coal and Chemical Industry Group Co., Ltd., Shanxi Youser, Shaanxi Heavy Duty Automobile Co., Ltd., FASTRE and other large state-owned enterprises and the countries along the "Belt and Road" are deepening, the space of "Overseas Shaanxi" continues to expand. Currently, Shaanxi has 194 Chinese enterprises achieved overseas investment of 2.43 billion dollars, covering America, Thailand, Kyrgyzstan and other 48 countries and regions, involving 15 industries, such as equipment manufacturing, mineral resources exploration, etc. Shaanxi is focusing on the world's eager eyes and concentrating on the new developing momentum under the "Belt and Road" initiative. According to the statistics, from January to May in 2016, Shaanxi set up 29 overseas enterprises and agencies accumulated, with an actual investment of 262 million dollar. The development dividends that the "Belt and Road" brought to Shaanxi also express in the investment categories of "Introduction": on the 2016 Silk Road International Expo & 20th Western China International Fair closed in May, Shaanxi signed 64 project contracts of utilizing foreign investment, with a contract value of 11.708 billion dollars, with a year-on-year growth of 151.5%. Shaanxi delegations signed contracts for utilizing the foreign capital with 12 countries and regions. The projects of the investment more than 100 million dollars are more than 20, total investment amount is up to 10.834 billion dollars.

In addition, cultural exchanges are more frequent gradually. According to the latest data, it was less than one year that the "University Alliance of The Silk Road" inaugurated by Xi'an Jiaotong University built, receiving positive response from those universities along the Silk Road, and there are 124 universities in 30 countries and regions in the five continents joined the alliance. British, Egyptian and Iranian embassy and other agencies are negotiating the participation and cooperation actively at present. The president of Xi'an Jiaotong University Wang Shuguo indicates that, we will focus on the talent demand of the "Belt and Road" strategy implementation, conduct mutual cooperation and deepen exchanges with colleges and universities at home and abroad, provide talent support for Chinese culture, education, technology and enterprises settling in those countries along the Silk and Road.

"New starting point of the Silk Road Initiative" powers up the reform

In the end of May, Shaanxi Provincial Administration of Taxation signed the tax service agreement with eight enterprises like Shaanxi Tobacco Industrial Company, Shaanxi Heavy Duty Automobile and China XD Electric. It is reported that, this is the first public commitment ever made by the state taxation system for enterprises that are going global in the form of service agreement.

This is one of the measures taken to help more enterprises to engage in international competition. In recent years, Shaanxi Province has been deepening the reform by making and exercising action plans like Strategic Suggestions of Shaanxi Province on Accelerating the Speed of Going Global, and through building oversea investment service platform. Besides, to attract more foreign consumers, from April, Shaanxi Province will initiate the shopping departure tax rebate policy for foreign tourists. Till now, Shaanxi has become the the second province in the west and the first one in the northwest to exercise the tax rebate policy. With the 10% rebate rate and 1% service charge, compared to other 8 provinces and cities that have applied the policy, Shaanxi's rebate rate is 1% higher, which is more attractive to the foreign tourists.

As the advancing of Silk Road Initiative, in June, Shaanxi Province made and published the 2016 action plan for the initiative, which means that Shaanxi is making great efforts for the inland reform. Shaanxi Province will advance the Silk Road Initiative by building transportation, commerce and logistic centers, international production capacity coordination centers, technology and education centers, tourism and finance centers, as well as fortifying the national ecological security and taking new open-oriented economic shape.

With multiple policies being initiated and exercised, people of Shaanxi and countries along the Silk Road will benefit a lot. Over two thousand years ago, the Silk Road went from the East to the West, connecting China with Europe. Today, the Silk Road Initiative brings Shaanxi to the world's spotlight once again. With the state-level platform, the opening-up Shaanxi is connected with the world, and Shaanxi is aiming for much more.