According to a translated Economic Observer report, Kashgar will become Xinjiang’s newest ‘special economic zone’ (SEZ):
As part of the central government’s recently-announced plans to spur economic growth in the Xinjiang region, Kashgar, a pivotal freight station in western Xinjiang, has been chosen as the home of a planned special economic zone (SEZ) modeled on the SEZ of Shenzhen.
Deputy Commissioner of Kashgar Prefecture, Wang Yongzhi, says Kashgar felt the effects of these plans even before any official announcement. The yearly Kashgar Fair sold out its 1,200 booths and while organizers planned to offer Shenzhen city 40 of those, they had applied for 200.
At this time, Kashgar does not have enough hotels to accommodate this much interest.
Member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of CPC, Zhou Yongkang, visited Kashgar in February and said that the central government would make the city a SEZ and the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) identified Kashgar as a “key pilot area to be opened and developed” in May.
Du Ying, deputy director of the NDRC, said that Kashgar will enjoy preferential policies in addition to becoming a comprehensive reform experimental zone. The 50 square kilometre SEZ is planned to boost the city’s economy and population to one million but also drive the economies of the surrounding cities and countries.