|Steady growth in China-Mongolia trade, economic co-op(06/20/08)|
ULAN BATOR, June 19 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping arrived in Ulan Bator Thursday morning for an official visit to Mongolia.
As China and Mongolia are striving to deepen their political ties, steady growth has also been achieved in bilateral trade and economic cooperation over the past dozen years or so.
The establishment of the good-neighborly partnership of mutual trust between the two countries in 2003 has given a strong impetus to the development of bilateral trade and economic cooperation, the scope of which has been further expanded.
China has been Mongolia's No. 1 trading partner for nine consecutive years. In 2007, bilateral trade grew by 43.24 percent to 2.08 billion U.S. dollars.
According to Mongolia's official statistics, in the first five months of 2008, two-way trade amounted to 1.1 billion dollars, a 68 percent increase over the same period of last year.
Chinese rice, vegetables and garments all account for about 90 percent of Mongolia's total import of the same items.
China has also been Mongolia's biggest investor country for eight years in a row. Currently over 700 Chinese enterprises are operating in Mongolia, their combined investment accounting for about half of the total investment by foreign-owned firms in the country. In the past few years, some big Chinese state-owned companies have begun to invest in Mongolia's oil and mining industries.
The Chinese enterprises provide more than 50,000 direct jobs to local people, accounting for 6.25 percent of the country's labor force.
There is still great potential for further economic and trade cooperation between the two countries, experts say.
Mongolia, a country rich in natural resources, lacks capital and technical know-how. The landlocked country's poor infrastructure is also shunned by many investors who balk at costly market entry.
In comparison, China is a huge market and has abundant capital and massive technical resources. Sharing a land border of 4,710 km with Mongolia, China enjoys great advantages over many countries as its companies can operate at lower costs in Mongolia.
Closer economic ties serve the interests of both countries, and China and Mongolia are ready to make further efforts to push bilateral cooperation to a higher level.