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First Economic Fair Staged by Three Southern Provinces

November 6, 2000

HUAIHUA (HUNAN), November 6 (Xinhua) -- The first-ever economic and trade fair among Hunan and Guizhou provinces and the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region has opened in Jingzhou, an autonomous county populated by Miao and Dong nationalities in Hunan province.

Attending are 2,200 delegates in 47 delegations from 10 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities, including Hunan, Guizhou, Guangxi, Chongqing, Zhejiang, Guangdong and Shanghai.

This is the first time such a large-scale trade fair has been held in the region since the nation adopted the strategy to develop the country's vast west region.

On display are more than 20,000 types of goods in an exhibition area of 10,000 square meters, an official source said.

The fair offered 300 business agreements with a total contractual value of three billion yuan (361 million U.S. dollars). Some 20 deals valued at 340 million yuan (41 million US dollars) were signed on the opening day.

"The fair is meant to enhance cross-region economic cooperation and promote economic development in remote areas," said Luo Yaoshun, deputy director of the organizing committee.

Jingzhou is a local transport hub in the region. Having a high forest coverage rate of 73 percent, it is a main producing area of timber, fruit and herbs. A state-approved comprehensive development program is also being carried out there on trial basis.