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11:20 Jan 16 2009

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English>>Tibet Online
Tibet posts strong foreign trade growth despite riot impact, surpassing $500 mln
10:28, January 13, 2009  

Southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region posted a strong growth of foreign trade in 2008, exceeding 500 million U.S. dollars for the first time, despite the impact of the March 14 riot in Lhasa and the global recession.

In the first eleven months, the autonomous region did 536 million U.S. dollars worth of foreign trade, a year-on-year rise of 54 percent, Ma Xiangcun, the regional commercial department head, said on Monday.

However, the import and export volumes were dramatically decreased after the Lhasa riot in the first half of last year, Ma said.

Following the riot, Tibet tightened its border security, which in turn hurt border trade. The lowered export rebate rate and the deepening global financial crisis also contributed to the decrease, Ma said in September last year, predicting the region's foreign trade volume for 2008 might be about 380 million U.S. dollars.

To attract more foreign investment, the region made preferential policies to encourage foreign trade. The bureau approved four overseas-funded companies last year, with a contractual investment of 27.14 million U.S. dollars in total.

Tibet was trading with 55 countries and regions as of late 2007,a rise of 13 from the previous year. Nepal remained Tibet's largest trade partner. The volume of foreign trade between the two rose by 45.81 percent to hit 262 million U.S. dollars, accounting for 66.67 percent of Tibet's total foreign trade.

Source: Xinhua

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