New Economic & Technological Development Zones and comprehensive bonded zones in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region are generating jobs and helping companies in these zones trade with neighbouring countries.

In 2015, the Kashgar Economic and Technological Development Zone completed its infrastructure construction, focusing on electro-mechanical manufacturing, household appliances production, electronics assembly, and the textile and garment industries. Ongoing development and industrial upgrades are changing living standards in the region.

“I’m a native of Kashgar. I used to be a housewife. Now I have been working here for over three years and learned a lot of vocational skills. I’m very happy about that,” said Nurgul Anwar, worker of Xinjiang Meiliao Clothing Co., Ltd.

There are many enterprises like Anwar’s company in the development zone. It’s become the logistics base for textiles and clothing in southern Xinjiang, and an engine for new jobs.

“Our company now has about 1,200 employees. About 90 percent of them are Uygur women in Kashgar,” said Li Jun, deputy general manager of Xinjiang Meiliao Clothing Co., Ltd.

There are many stories like this in the development zone, including the Kashgar Qilu Textile and Garment Company.

“At present, there are 1,600 people working here. We have a high degree of automation and the most advanced fully automated cotton textile production workshop. In the future, with the new project put into production, it is expected to provide 3,600 jobs for the local people,” said Zhai Mengqiang, Chairman of Kashgar Qilu Textile and Clothing Co., Ltd.

Chinese and foreign journalists visited Kashgar recently, and a visiting Saudi journalist is impressed.

“I was deeply impressed by the two companies I visited. I’m also engaged in the uniform production as a part-time job. I hope I can cooperate with the garment company and import products to Saudi Arabia,” said Intissar Hallak, executive chief editor of Neprass News of Saudi Arabia.

And there’s a one-stop customs service in Kashgar to help companies trade with other neighbouring countries.

“As an important hub city along the Belt & Road, the Kashgar Comprehensive Bonded Zone plays a major role in establishing logistics and processing centers for Central Asia, South Asia and China, which can expand economic and trade cooperation among these areas,” said Bai Can, deputy director of the Kashgar Comprehensive Bonded Zone.

The official said this customs service is now working with Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. A reporter from Kyrgyzstan shared her thoughts.

“I like the fact that I can see famous honey exported from our country, which can be sold from here to other parts of China. I believe with more development, the Comprehensive Bonded Zone will promote more economic and trade exchanges between our two countries,” said Mambetalieva Aizhan, reporter with Bishkek Evening News of Kyrgyzstan.

Today, the economic and technological development zones and the comprehensive bonded zones are like two ends of a bridge, connecting China with other countries.