(TibetanReview.net, Dec19’19) – The local Chinese government of Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) has approved the setting up of an economic development area in the region’s southern City of Shigatse that will play a key role in opening China to south Asian countries, reported the official Xinhua news agency Dec 19.
The report said official approval was given on Dec 13 for the establishment of the Shigatse Economic Development Area. The aim was stated to be to create an important platform for the Belt and Road Initiative and cooperation between China and South Asia.
The report said the economic development area will be located in the southern part of Shigatse, about 50 km away from Shigatse Airport. A total of 60 billion yuan (US $8.57 billion) will be invested in the construction of the over 34 square kilometre development area. Half of this amount will be invested in infrastructure.
The development area will cater to such industries as logistics, organic agriculture, science and technology manufacturing, ethnic handicrafts, financial services, trade and exhibitions, the report added.
The TAR’s total foreign trade volume in 2018 was 4.8 billion yuan, with Shigatse contributed over 80 percent of it. The city borders Nepal, Bhutan and India and is therefore an important gateway for China to South Asian countries, the report added.