URUMQI, Jan. 9 (Xinhua) -- The municipal government of Urumqi, the capital of northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, is aiming to build the city into a modern international metropolis, it was highlighted on Wednesday.
Mayor Jerla Isamudinhe said at a session of the municipal legislature that the city's authorities were drawing up a plan for the goal and that it had already taken steps to improve its infrastructure.
With a population of around 3.1 million, the city started building its No.1 subway line and spent more than 12 billion yuan (about 1.9 billion U.S. dollars) on improving air quality last year.
It is estimated that the gross regional product of Urumqi grew 17.3 percent year on year to reach 206 billion yuan (32.8 billion U.S. dollars) in 2012, the mayor said.
By 2020, city authorities are hoping, Urumqi will have been built into a key city in west China and an international commerce and trade center for China and central and west Asian countries.
Urumqi hosts the annual China-Eurasia Expo. In 2012, foreign trade contracts worth 6.2 billion U.S. dollars were signed at the event.