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UN Backs Cooperation On New Silk Road

UN Backs Cooperation On New Silk Road From Eastern China To Western Europe

The United Nations is-cosponsoring an international symposium on regional economic cooperation along the New Silk Road, a vast corridor for commerce and tourism stretching from Lianyungang in easternmost China to Rotterdam in the western Netherlands, mirroring the fabled camel and caravan trade route of old.

The meeting, which opened yesterday in Urumqi, capital of China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, brings together government officials from Central Asian countries such as Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Pakistan and Turkmenistan, experts and private sector representatives from 16 countries, and mayors from cities along the New Silk Road.

“Perhaps the most important thing is the political will of those taking part,” said Khalid Malik, Resident Coordinator of the UN Development Program UNDP), which is co-sponsoring the symposium with the Chinese Government. “It is a prominent sign of their commitment to New Silk Road development.”

Representatives from development agencies and international financial institutions such as the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank and the UN World Tourism Organization WTO) are also taking part.

UNDP has been supporting government efforts in promoting trade and economic cooperation along the New Silk Road since the early 1990s. It has helped Central Asian countries and China establish national coordination mechanisms in various sectors such as highways, railway transportation, customs and an improved legal environment for investment.

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