The State Council on July 23 approved the establishment of a key development and opening-up experimental zone in Mengla, the southernmost county in Xishuangbanna, Yunnan province, as part of China’s latest efforts to accelerate the process to open up border areas.
According to a statement released on July 23, the experimental zone, with its significant position, will help to build the bridgehead of China’s opening-up to the southwest through the Belt and Road Initiative, and is also expected to boost the development of the China-Laos comprehensive strategic partnership.
Additionally, officials expect that the zone will help to deepen Lancang-Mekong sub-regional economic cooperation and safeguard ethnic solidarity and social stability in the border area.
The State Council requested that efforts to develop the Mengla experimental zone should focus on institutional innovation, infrastructure construction and export-oriented industries.
This will help create a significant platform for cooperation between China and Laos, a transportation hub that connects China with countries on the Indo-China Peninsula, and will also be an important driver of economic development in border areas.
The local government of Yunnan province is responsible for the plan and draft work concerning the construction of the experimental zone, and the State Council will offer the required policy and financial support.