URUMQI - Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region will build itself as the transport, financial and logistics center of the Silk Road economic belt in 2014.
Nur Bekri, the regional governor, said that Xinjiang will keep opening up to Central Asia and Europe, and grasp the opportunity to boost the Silk Road economic belt, during his speech at the annual session of the local legislature which started on Thursday.
A "Silk Road Economic Belt" agreement was signed by 24 cities from eight countries along the Silk Road in November, to promote greater cooperation, development and prosperity among the countries.
Xinjiang will promote the establishment of a free trade zone with countries along the route and strengthen multilateral cooperation on agriculture, energy, tourism and culture. At the same time, Xinjiang will keep opening up to the domestic market, and prepare for the transfer of industries from the east region to the west, according to Nur Bekri.
Chinese President Xi Jinping proposed the idea of the economic belt during his visit to Central Asia in September, eyeing the cultural revival of the Silk Road, which historically links China with Central Asia and Europe, as a way of developing political and economic ties.
Land defined as the new Silk Road covers 18 Asian and European countries with a total area of 50 million square kilometers and a population of 3 billion people. It also boasts rich energy, mining, tourism, cultural and agricultural resources.