Manzhouli in Hulunbuir, North China’s Inner Mongolia autonomous region borders Mongolia to the west and Russia to the north. Such location gives the city a competitive advantage in border trade.
Manzhouli is a land port city with a history of more than 100 years when it was opened to the outside world in 1902. Perfectly merging the styles of China, Mongolia and Russia, the city boasts the reputation of “a window of East Asia.”
However, border trade in Manzhouli hadn’t welcomed a rapid development until 1978 when China’s reform and opening-up started.
In 1988, Manzhouli was involved in a national-level pilot project of establishing economic reform and opening zones. Since then, the structure of import and export trade at Manzhouli Port has undergone tremendous changes. Before the 1980s, the import volume was much larger than the export ones with the major imports of fertilizers, logs, cement, glass and mechanical equipment. Now, a large number of products of all kinds are exported to Russia, including heavy machinery and light industrial products.
In 1992, Manzhouli was listed in the first batch of open cities along the border approved by the State Council, which provided more opportunities for mutual trade between local residents and Russians. In the 1990s, China- Russia border trade in Manzhouli blossomed as light industrial products were in shortage in Russia due to its uneven industrial development. The open Manzhouli backed up by commodity markets in Beijing, Fujian and Zhejiang provinces attracted large numbers of Russian merchants.
Since September 2013 when the first China-Europe freight train passed through Manzhouli Port, Manzhouli has also been an active participator in cross-border trade. By Sep 4, 2018, a total of 2,600 trains had exited China for Europe through the port.
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