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Open Economy Of Xishuangbanna Is Standing Out

Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture, whose border line accounts for up to one quarter of that of Yunnan Province, has currently develops four state-level ports: Mo'han Port, Daluo Port, Xishuangbanna Airport and Jinghong Port, making it opened up and accessible by air, water and land.

With the "Opening-up Policy" being thoroughly implemented and accelerated, new industries being consolidated and developed, transport on the Kunming-Bangkok Road being propelled, and the international trade ties and cooperation with neighbouring countries being enhanced, many spotlights have emerged in the open economy of Xishuangbanna.

Laos, Thailand and Myanmar are the major trade partners
In the first half of 2011, foreign trade volume of the whole prefecture totaled $465 million, of which import contributes $137 million, showing a growth rate of 29.1 percent year on year. Strikingly, the trade volume with Laos, Myanmar and Thailand totaled $370 million, making up 94.7 percent of the total.

Due to the geographic location, foreign trade with Laos stays on the top in the long run, with the volume hitting $176.32 million in the first half year, accounting for 45.1 percent of the total. Foreign trade with Thailand mounted to $132.31 million in the first half, accounting for 33.9 percent and increasing by 87.7 percent year on year; these data attribute to the opening of the Kunming-Bangkok Road. And trade with Myanmar appeared to be $61.4 million or 15.7 percent of the total.  
Trade of farm product grows fast

Chart 1: data of export for the first half of 2011

Total (USD)  
Growth Rate (y.o.y)
Percentage of the Total
Plant Products
99.28 mln
76.86 mln
Flowers & Others
4.93 mln
4.38 mln


Chart 2: data of import for the first half of 2011

Growth Rate (y.o.y)
$21.53 mln
Flowers & Others
$3.57 mln
Processed Oil
$0.47 mln
 684 tons


Since April when China and Thailand signed a protocol on fruit import and export via the Kunming-Bangkok Road, fruits have been imported to Xishuangbanna via Mo'han Port in the manner of general trade; this could be why Xishuangbanna's fruit export to Thailand dropped as we can see in Chart 1.

Brisk border trade
The 4th border trade and tourism fair of Xishuangbanna Prefecture was successfully held in April in the city of Jinghong, attracting participants from China, Vietnam, Myanmar, Laos and Thailand who exhibited a wide range of products including bio products, handicrafts, and even farm byproducts. During the week-long fair, the turnover was as much as 91 million yuan ($14.24 million); and 22 intentional projects were inked, involving at least 100 million yuan ($15.65 million).  

The monthly international Ganbai (Fair) of Xishuangbanna, first organized in 2007, has been re-decided on each weekend, which will promisingly highlight the border market and trade between Xishuangbanna and neighbouring countries. 

Seizing opportunities brought by the border trade fair, Xishuangbanna is stepping up the construction of its border trade area and is striving for more export quotas. It is spending great efforts for agreements on quarantine and transportation facilitation, seeking to inject fresh blood to the border trade and spread the influence of the international Ganbai fair.

New thoughts lead to great changes. In the first half of 2011, border trade volume of the entire prefecture had risen 140 percent to $62.66 million. The border trade fair as a platform of the opening-up is carrying weight for Xishuangbanna.

Overseas cooperation
It is another major role of Xishuangbanna's open economy to invest in neighbouring countries such as Laos and Myanmar. Competitive enterprises have been encouraged to conduct multiple cooperations with these countries. In the first half of 2011, the volume of Xishuangbanna's overseas economic and technological cooperation amounted to $11.95 million, increasing by 27.8 percent than the same period of last year.