The Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) said on Tuesday that it recently organized a trip for representatives from 15 international chambers of commerce, associations and multinational companies to visit Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, where the inspection tour participants looked for investment opportunities.
Delegates from countries including the US, the UK, Germany, Switzerland, Poland, the Netherlands, Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Moldova made the inspection tour from July 26-29, the ministry said in a statement on its WeChat account.
The delegates went on a tour in Kashgar, Aksu, Urumqi and Shihezi where they inspected local cotton mills, as well as new-energy, agricultural processing and machinery firms. Among the attractions they visited were the Xinjiang International Grand Bazaar in Urumqi, the local naan industrial and cultural park, the ancient city of Kashgar and the Id Kah Mosque in Kashgar.
They developed their own accounts of Xinjiang's social stability, its rapid economic development, the continued improvement of local living standards, and the different ethnic groups that live happily and enjoy their work and life, the statement said.
During a meeting with the delegation on July 29, Shohrat Zakir, chairman of the regional government, elaborated on the unprecedented and historic achievements Xinjiang has achieved in economic and social development as it improved human rights and people's livelihood, under the leadership of under the leadership of the Communist Party of China.
Xinjiang, with a prosperous economy and a harmonious and stable society, is a good destination for investment, the tour attendees said, hoping for deeper economic and trade partnerships with the region.
They toured a cotton mill in Awat County, Aksu Prefecture where they praised the use of drones, drip irrigation facilities and cotton pickers, which enable local farmers to plant cotton in a more efficient manner.
The inspection presented the delegation with the continued upgrading of the local cotton sector, the sustained technological innovation and the vitality of the local business community, the MOFCOM disclosed.
The inspection tour also included a visit to a local polysilicon manufacturer where the delegates were impressed by the firm's advanced, fully automated production and its offer of preferential treatment in accommodation and catering, and its high pay for its staffers.
In March, the MOFCOM called on some foreign businesses to correct their mistake in banning Xinjiang cotton and welcomed companies to visit Xinjiang. Cotton produced in Xinjiang region is "pure and flawless", which has nothing to do with "forced labor" alleged by the US, MOFCOM spokesperson Gao Feng told reporters at a press conference in late March.
It is hoped that related apparel companies and retailers will uphold market rules, correct their wrong practices and avoid politicization of commercial issues, stated Gao, after a number of foreign enterprises including H&M were found to have boycotted Xinjiang cotton.
The ministry welcomes foreign enterprises to visit Xinjiang and will provide positive support for foreign enterprises to carry out trade and investment in the region.
He stressed that the Chinese government has always welcomed and supported the normal business activities of multinational enterprises in China and their efforts to build industry supply chains.