URUMQI, Sept. 3 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang has suggested a broad-strokes roadmap for building the Silk Road economic belt during an ongoing expo in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.
In his keynote speech delivered at the fourth China-Eurasia Expo on Monday, Wang said China and countries along the belt should make joint efforts in streamlining trade procedures, improving industrial levels and building an efficient transportation network in a step toward a vigorous new "Silk Road".
He said China is willing to provide financial support for countries along the route in the process of infrastructure construction.
The expo attracted roughly 25,000 participants from China, 60 foreign countries and four international organizations.
With the building of the Silk Road economic belt high on the agenda, the six-day international fair, which opened Monday in Urumqi, capital of Xinjiang, aims at drawing regional economies together to discuss development strategies.
The Silk Road economic belt, proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping during his visit to Central Asia in September 2013, involves over 40 Asian and European countries and regions with a combined population of 3 billion.
It eyes the cultural revival of the Silk Road, which historically links China with Central Asia and Europe, as a way of developing political and economic ties.
Experts and participants said Wang's overarching plan for the hugely ambitious scheme is likely to speed up the construction of what is shaping up to be a major regional economic force.
FREER, BALANCED TRADE
China has been conducting measures to allow for easier trade procedures on the belt. For instance, customs procedures have been streamlined at the Horgos International Border Cooperation Center, a free port on the China-Kazakhstan border. Visiting traders can stay for 30 days visa-free in the center.
In his speech, Wang signaled China's willingness to continue such efforts for inbound and outbound traders by deepening cooperation in terms of customs, e-commerce and cross-border transportation to bring more trade access.
He mentioned reaching a balanced trade mechanism, saying China is willing to buy advantage products from countries on the route to help traders catch on par and realize sustainable development.
Such measures are welcomed by participants like Nazira, an expo coordinator for the industry and commerce union of Kyrgyzstan.
Nazira said that wool handmade products from her country have found immense popularity in China and that Kyrgyz companies have received a good number of orders from China at the past expos.
"I believe there will be more opportunities for us," Nazira told Xinhua at the expo.
Wang Ning, a research fellow with the economy research department of Xinjiang Academy of Social Sciences, lauded Wang's proposal. She said that freer and balanced trade is the foundation of international cooperation and it is time that countries abandon trade barriers to allow for quick flow of people and commodities.