ZAMIIN-UUD, Mongolia, Sept. 12 (Xinhua) -- A groundbreaking ceremony for the China-funded renovation of two Mongolian land ports was held on Thursday in Zamiin-Uud, a border soum in the southeastern Mongolian province of Dornogovi.
The China-aided project to renovate Mongolia's Zamiin-Uud and Gashuunsukhait ports will lay a solid foundation for the trade volume between the two countries to exceed 10 billion U.S. dollars, said Song Xuejun, commercial counsellor of the Chinese Embassy in Mongolia, at the ceremony.
The Zamiin-Uud port, one of the largest ports in Mongolia, accounts for 40 percent of passengers and 76 percent of passenger vehicles passing through customs, said Sanjaa Narantsogt, state secretary of the Mongolian Ministry of Finance.
"The current port construction and infrastructure cannot meet the growing demand, which leads to difficulties in customs clearance procedures," said Narantsogt.
He said that after renovating the port, the area of the port will increase eightfold, the number of passengers fourfold, the freight volume threefold, and the number of passenger vehicles sevenfold, providing passengers with a smooth customs clearance and comfortable service.
He also stressed that the project will play an important role in Mongolia's foreign trade, economic and regional development, prevent illegal and unqualified goods from transiting, and protect people's rights.
"Facilitating trade is an important part of the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative," said Song. "Enhancing port construction and customs clearance capability is of great significance to improve trade and investment facilitation and strengthen regional economic competitiveness."
He hoped that the project will become a good example of friendship between the two peoples.
Under the project, all infrastructure facilities of the Zamiin-Uud and Gashuunsukhait ports are expected to be renovated with the non-refundable Chinese aid.