URUMQI, Jan. 25 (Xinhua) -- The foreign trade of northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region saw a yearly increase of 45.9 percent in 2023, local customs authorities said Thursday.
The region's total imports and exports last year surpassed a historic 357 billion yuan (about 50.25 billion U.S. dollars), according to Urumqi Customs.
In 2023, the import and export between Xinjiang and the five Central Asian countries, namely Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, increased by 50 percent year on year, accounting for 79.4 percent of Xinjiang's total foreign trade.
The region engaged in trade with 192 countries and regions worldwide last year. Its trade with Malaysia, South Africa, Qatar and Algeria also posted robust growth.
Private enterprises in Xinjiang showed a strong performance in foreign trade during the same period, with their trade value soaring 48.4 percent year on year, accounting for 93.2 percent of the region's total.
The region has seen growing competitiveness in the export of labor-intensive products and electromechanical products.
Xinjiang is located at the heart of the Eurasian continent and serves as an important transportation hub in the core region of the Silk Road Economic Belt.
"Xinjiang's opening up faces significant opportunities in 2024," said Li Qinghua, deputy director of the Urumqi Customs.
Leveraging on the development of the Xinjiang Pilot Free Trade Zone and other favorable policies, the potential of Xinjiang's foreign trade field is being further activated, Li added. ■