Third, Ningxia is a good place for trade and commerce because of its unique role in China’s opening-up, which is known as one platform and three gateways. Ningxia used to be an important station along the ancient Silk Road and is designated by the central government as an opening-up pilot economic zone in inland China, which enjoys broad prospects for opening-up.
China-Arab States Expo.
Ningxia have held three sessions of China-Arab States Economic and Trade Forum and two sessions of China-Arab States Expo, attracting tens of thousands of guests from home and abroad for win-win business opportunities and cooperation. During China-Arab States Expo 2015, five bilateral cooperation agencies were set up in Ningxia, including China-Arab States Technology Transfer Center, business mediation center, and China-Arab States Agricultural Technology Transfer Center. In the meantime, projects worth of RMB 183 billion were signed. On 21 January 2016, when delivering a speech at the headquarters of Arab League in Cairo, President Xi Jinping praised the China-Arab States Expo as an important platform for China-Arab cooperation in building the Belt and Road.
Silk Road on the Land
Ningxia is a convenient gateway connecting Northwest China with the North and Northeast. The Yingshuiqiao Classification Yard in Ningxia is one of the largest Asian classification yards under planning. The international cargo train, China-Arab States Express, which has just been put into operation, shortened the clearance process by integrating redundant declaration and inspection procedures. Ningxia will soon been connected to the New Eurasia Land Bridge through the Yinchuan-Xi’an high-speed railway under construction and the planned Zhongwei-Lanzhou passenger dedicated lines.
Silk Road in the Airspace
Yinchuan is located on the converging point of Yabulai international air route, making it the best gateway to the Middle East, Central Asia, Africa and Europe. Yinchuan Hedong Airport now serves direct international flights to cities like Dubai, Seoul and Kuala Lumpur and has got the approval to grant third, fourth and fifth freedoms of air to the UAE, thus becoming a major airport facing the Arab world.
Silk Road in the Cyberspace
The central government supports Ningxia to build the Hub Project of Online Silk Road. Yinchuan is launching pilot programs on e-commerce and cross-border e-commerce. A number of e-commerce platforms, including Ningxia Silk Road ePath Company, have been put into operation. The e-commerce industry with overseas online shopping and selling is thriving. In the year 2015, the online business turnover of Yinchuan Incubation Park of Information Technology, Biotechnology & Intellectual Property alone surpassed RMB 400 billion.