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Under Belt and Road Initiative, Tianjin and Irkutsk embrace broad future in cooperation in infrastructure building, trade, tourism and cultural exchanges.
The China-Mongolia-Russian Sea-Railway intermodal International freights that start from Tianjin port and exit from Manchuria and Erenhot will pass through Irkutsk, also the closest city to Lake Baikal.
“With more convenient import and export border inspection, we plan to build a road connecting Irkutsk to China via Mongolia to meet the increasing goods transportation demand as bilateral trade surge,” said Yvkug Anatolyevich, deputy minister of Economic Development of Irkutsk Region, when speaking of the opportunities brought to Irkutsk by Belt and Road initiative.
To date, there are over 200 Chinese enterprises registered in Irkutsk. China has been the largest trade partner of the city for many consecutive years.
Investment between the two sides saw upward trend. A number of Chinese-funded enterprises and their counterparts in Irkutsk conducted in-depth cooperation in the investment field. Eight of the current investment projects in Irkutsk were from Tianjin.
Tourism is also one of the pillar industries of the Irkutsk. Lake Baikal, known as the “Siberian eye”,attracted large quantity of Chinese tourists in summer.
Coincide with China’s green development concept, environment protection is attached to great importance in Irkutsk region. It now seeks chances to strengthen cooperation with China in waste treatment, sewage treatment, environmental technology and environmental protection equipment.
Close connection between Tianjin and Irkutsk, both serving as important transportation hubs, is expected as bilateral coordination deepens.
Zhang Yingmei, deputy consul general of the Chinese Consulate in Irkutsk, commented, the prospect of cooperation is very broad considering that Irkutsk’s economy foresees great development potential with abundant natural resources, while Tianjin, as an important economic center in the northern China, is very developed in manufacture industry and other industries.