UN Initiative in Greater Tumen Region to Boost Northeast China

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tumen-region-mapBEIJING, Feb. 3 – The Greater Tumen area – the land mass that covers Northeast China, the Asian part of Russia, Mongolia, and North and South Korea – has been earmarked for special development and investment incentive status by the United Nations.

China has already made commitments to this by hosting its own Heilongjiang International Investment Fair in Harbin last week, in which priority to developing eight key economic areas was confirmed. These included the Hadaqi Industrial Corridor, Eastern Coal-Power Integration Base, Northeastern Asia Economic Trade Development Area, Greater and Lesser Hinggan Mountains Eco-Protection Area, an agricultural development and experimental zone on the plains, the Beiguofengguang Tourism Development Zone, the Hamu Suidong-Russia Trade Processing Area and a high-tech industry cluster. Over 400 guests from 10 countries and regions, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Russia, Japan, South Korea, Australia, as well as Hong Kong and Taiwan attended the fair. Delegates included executives from global companies such as GE, Johnson & Johnson, Pepsi, Siemens and Sony.

They held in-depth discussions on the development of the eight economic areas, and how Northeast China will cope with the financial crisis and channel more funds to the region. “Heilongjiang Province has rich resources in petroleum, forestry, coal and agricultural sectors,” said Vice Governor Sun Yao. “It also boasts a niche in human resources as its geographic advantages with Russia and Far East Asia have unique competences. Based on these advantages, the province mapped out the strategy to beef up efforts to build the eight economic areas.” During the fair, a high-profile venture capital forum was also held.

The UN Secretariat responsible for the Greater Tumen Initiative (GTI) is based in Beijing and will be hosting the 3rd GTI Business Advisory Council meeting on March 24 in Ulaan Baatar, Mongolia, back-to-back with the GTI 10th Consultative Commission. The initiative is supported by the United Nations Development Program and other donors, and states as its mission, to provide “a unique multilateral forum for the member countries to identify and implement regional initiatives that encourage economic growth, improve living standards and contribute to peace and stability in Northeast Asia.” All GTI member countries share a common vision of achieving the Millennium Development Goals by 2015, working together to strengthen economic and technical cooperation and attain greater growth and sustainable development for the people and countries of Northeast Asia and the Greater Tumen Region.

Chris Devonshire-Ellis, senior partner at Dezan Shira & Associates, will be discussing foreign direct investment law and tax in the region in a speech to the conference delegate, while Asia Briefing (publishers of China Briefing) will produce a regional investment guide for the event. Details of the GTI talks will be covered in China Briefing News at the time.

Further information about the GTI can be found at the program’s website while China Briefing’s own publications to Northeast China and the China neighbors with profiles of Russia, Mongolia and North Korea are available at the China Briefing Bookstore.