The State Council has approved making Erenhot, Inner Mongolia autonomous region, a key national experimental zone for development and opening-up, according to the city's publicity department.
Details about the plan have yet to be released by the regional development and reform commission.
About 13 million metric tons of goods passed through the city's railway and road ports in 2013, according to customs in Erenhot, making the city the biggest land port and the only railway port on the China-Mongolia border. Trade at these ports reached $3.65 billion last year.
Erenhot will become the second city in Inner Mongolia designated as a key national experimental zone for development - the first was Manzhouli, in the region's northeast, near the Sino-Russian border.
"The establishment of the experimental zone will likely support Erenhot's development with unprecedented policies, not only for the economy, but for social services," said Yu Guangjun, head of the Economic Research Institute affiliated to the Inner Mongolia Academy of Social Sciences.
"Erenhot is a crucial spot to coordinate the relationship between China and Mongolia, whose significance goes far beyond Inner Mongolia," he said. "A national-level experimental zone will also help the city explore more suitable channels to enhance the opening-up of Inner Mongolia."
There are nine land ports on the China-Mongolia border in Inner Mongolia autonomous region.
"If everything goes well, Erenhot will set a good example for other frontier ports, which share a similarly desolate landscape and sparse population, to contribute to the development of Inner Mongolia."
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(China Daily 06/13/2014 page5)