China’s Tibet Autonomous Region will set up an economic development area in Shigatse, local authorities confirmed.

The regional government officially approved the establishment of the Shigatse Economic Development Area on December 13, aiming to create an important platform for the Belt & Road Initiative and cooperation between China and South Asia.

The economic development area will be located in the southern part of the city of Shigatse, about 50 km away from Shigatse Airport.

Covering over 34 square kilometres, a total of 60 billion yuan (8.57 billion U.S. dollars) is expected to be invested into the construction of the area, of which 30 billion yuan will be invested in infrastructure.

Industries in the area will include logistics, organic agriculture, science and technology manufacturing, ethnic handicrafts, financial services, trade and exhibitions.

Bordering Nepal, Bhutan and India, Shigatse is an important gateway for China to South Asian Countries.

In 2018, Tibet’s total foreign trade volume reached 4.8 billion yuan, of which Shigatse contributed over 80 percent.