Visa-free tour to Horgos

Oct 31. Kazpravda. Almaty region

By Aset Kalymov

Visa-free tour to HorgosShopping on the border with China is becoming more popular.

The first bilateral trade fair was recently held in the center of international cross-border cooperation Khorgos in the Panfilov district. More than 500 Chinese and 50 Kazakh companies presented their products. Inexpensive, but quality shopping, attracted tens thousands of customers.

Trading without borders is the main idea of the ICBC. The center which has not been fully commissioned, nevertheless gives a powerful impetus to the development of border zone.  A 30-day visa-free regime means free movement of people, commodities and vehicles between the Kazakh and Chinese parts of the center. At that, the goods imported to the territory of the Republic of Kazakhstan are duty-free if their value does not exceed 1,500 euros and weight — not more than 50 kg.

From now on many residents of Almaty who preferred to go shopping earlier to Urumqi, crossing the border and overcoming about 600 km, have an opportunity for the same price to buy goods on home territory. Especially for them a bus route Almaty — Khorgos and a train route Almaty — Altynkol were opened. It is noteworthy that during the fair which lasted a whole week, 17 hotels in a small district center Zharkent provided their services to tourists.

Representatives from the factories of Guangzhou, Beijing and Urumqi brought to the fair clothing, shoes, electronics, household appliances, auto parts and toys that passed strict quality control. The Kazakh foods — confectionery, pasta, beverages, natural honey, in turn, were in great demand among Chinese buyers.

The passing capacity of the ICBC exceeds 10 thousand people a day. Chinese side opened on their territory trading houses Su Xin, Jiang Yuan and Zhong Ke, an EthnographicPark of countries — members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and an international tourist center. According to chairman of the administrative committee of FEZ Khorgos Huang Ji Yue , China’s total investments in the project exceed $ 3 billion.

The Kazakh side with the state support has already prepared all the necessary infrastructure for trade stands, tourist, sport and industrial facilities. Private investors are provided with numerous benefits.

As president of JSC ICBC Khorgos Askar Hamitov noted, businessmen from Russia, Belarus and the countries of Western Europe showed interest in the trading platform and in opening their offices here. From now on, the center management plans to hold fairs on a regular basis.