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NE Asia's economic cooperation expanding

Joint development based on the Belt and Road Initiative continued to inject new momentum into expanding and deepening cooperation in Northeast Asia, and participating parties made good use of the China-Northeast Asia Expo as a platform to cement a consensus, advance collaboration and produce further achievements, President Xi Jinping said on Friday.

He made the remark in a congratulatory letter to the 12th China-Northeast Asia Expo, which opened Friday in Changchun, capital of Jilin province.

Calling Northeast Asia one of the world's most dynamic regions for development, Xi said favorable conditions for strengthening regional cooperation there have been accumulating.

The biennial event, launched in 2005, has long facilitated cooperation among Northeast Asian economies. This year's expo runs through Tuesday.

The expo's theme emphasizes enhancing mutual trust and cooperation to create beautiful prospects for the region, reflecting the common aspiration to pursue regional prosperity and development, Xi said.

The Czech Republic also will hold a theme day during the expo to promote commercial connections between China and partners involved in the Belt and Road, particularly with Central and Eastern European Countries, said Zhang Kaiming, deputy secretary-general of the Jilin provincial government.

"Diversified regional cooperation has not only led to economic prosperity and sustainable development, but also has significantly contributed to regional solidarity and stability," said Zhang Wei, vice-president of Beijing-based Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation.

The six-nation Northeast Asia region-China, Russia, Mongolia, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, the Republic of Korea and Japan-represents a market with a population of 1.7 billion and more than 20 percent of the world's GDP, according to the expo's executive committee.

Bilateral trade between China and Russia rose 4.7 percent year-on-year to $61.13 billion between January and July, while FDI inflows from Japan and the Republic of Korea to China jumped 69.7 percent and 12.6 percent year-on-year during the period, respectively, the Ministry of Commerce said.

China is willing to work with partners of the Greater Tumen Initiative to strengthen regional cooperation via policy dialogue and the implementation of priority projects in the Northeast Asia region, Vice-Commerce Minister Wang Shouwen said at the opening ceremony of the expo on Friday.

The initiative, established in 1995 and originally known as the Tumen River Area Development Programme, is an intergovernmental cooperation mechanism among four countries: China, Mongolia, Republic of Korea and Russia. It is supported by the United Nations Development Programme.

Wang called on the initiative's members to continue promoting liberalization and facilitation of regional trade and investment, enhancing regional cross-border infrastructure and strengthening tourism cooperation, agriculture and the private sector and turning the initiative into an independent international organization supporting growth in Northeast Asia.

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