China to step up ties with neighbors

By Yuan Hui and Du Juan (China Daily)

Closer cooperation between Chinese and Mongolian companies on infrastructure projects willboost bilateral ties between the two nations and also with Russiaofficials said.
ChinaRussia and Mongolia recently announced the construction of a trilateral economiccorridor to boost politicaltrade and cultural exchanges among the three nationsClose on theheels of the announcementwork has already started on the ground.
China State Construction Engineering Corporationthe third largest construction company inthe worldis already in discussions with a State-owned Mongolian railway enterprise to buildthe eastern railroad in Mongoliaaccording to Li Jiqinmanaging director of the company'soverseas businesses.
The economic corridor will have three north-to-south railway lineswhile the existing westernline that runs through the three nationsand delivers mining resourceswill remain unchangedfor the time being.
The central line will be updated with the required construction standards for Chinese railways,said LiCSCEC has participated in the upgrading work for the central railroadin addition tothe construction of the eastern line.
"We are doing the planning and design work for the central line and expect to complete thesame within a year," he said.
"It is possible that private firms from China will participate in these projects as there are manyflexible modes for financing."
Lihoweverdeclined to release the actual investment on these projectsHoweverhe saidthe company's revenue from overseas markets has been growing at 20 percent in the pastfew years.
"We started participating in overseas projects since the 1950s and have already gainedconsiderable experiencesThe Belt and Road Initiative is a further step in our efforts forqualitative growth," he said.
He said the company will help build several roads in the southern part of Mongolia to link withthe northern regions of ChinaThe roadsLi saidwill help facilitate trade between the twoneighbors.
The economic corridor linking ChinaMongolia and Russia was proposed by ChinesePresident Xi Jinping last year during a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin andMongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj on the sidelines of the 14th summit of theShanghai Cooperation Organization.
During the China-Mongolia Expo held in HohhotInner Mongolia autonomous region in lateOctober this yearvice prime minister of Mongolia Ts Oyonbaatar said China's foreign policieshave given Mongolia great opportunities for investment.
At the same timethe increasing power demand and rich agricultural and mining resources inMongolia are also offering several business opportunities to Chinese investorshe said.
"Mongolia will treat domestic and foreign investors equally to boost economic growth," hesaid.
Up to 46 projects with total contracts value of nearly 57 billion yuan ($8.96 billionconcerningenergypetrochemicalequipment manufacturingconstructionlogistics and tourism weresigned between Chinese and Mongolian companies during the expo.
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