Thursday, June 20, 2024

Chengdu’s rail link to Europe a key component of BRI

CHENGDU, China, Aug. 23, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — A freight train loaded with liquid crystal display products, connectors, auto parts and other merchandise departed Chengdu for Duisburg Port in Germany on Aug 7, just as the 31st FISU Summer World University Games were wrapped up in the capital of Southwest China’s Sichuan province.

An aerial view of cranes working at the bustling Chengdu International Railway Port.
An aerial view of cranes working at the bustling Chengdu International Railway Port.

In much the same way the games helped foster closer ties between Chengdu and the Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan region, the ChinaEurope freight train has further advanced the relationship while playing an important role in the Belt and Road Initiative.

In line with the decade-long development of the BRI, this year marks the 10th anniversary of the launch of the first ChinaEurope freight train from the Chengdu International Railway Port.

The first ChinaEurope freight train from Chengdu to Lodz, Poland, was launched in April 2013, and trains from Chengdu have since become a major international transportation link between Asia and Europe. Journey times have been reduced from 22 days to 10 days, while the value and quantity of goods has dramatically increased.

Local officials said the ChinaEurope freight trains have transported Chinese products such as electronics, vehicles and machinery to Europe while importing the likes of French wine, Russian wood, Polish beef and Italian furniture, reshaping the foreign trade pattern of Chengdu and western China.

The railway port has also opened more southbound train routes to keep abreast of increased cross-border logistics and international transit demands between Sichuan and the ASEAN countries.

In 2022, Chengdu launched the ChinaVietnam train service and the ChinaLaos train service. In June, the China-Myanmar New Channel (Mandalay-Chengdu) intermodal train service commenced operations, connecting Chengdu with Southeast Asia.

So far, Chengdu’s international train services have reached 100 overseas cities and 30 domestic destinations, establishing an international network and land-sea freight distribution system with Chengdu at its core.

High-quality overseas products imported via international freight trains are particularly favored by Chengdu residents.

The Chengdu-Eurasia National (Commodity) Pavilion located at Chengdu International Railway Port has attracted 34 venues featuring commodities from regions including Europe, Central Asia, Southeast Asia and Oceania.

According to local officials, the pavilion helps drive an annual import trade value of more than 1 billion yuan ($137.18 million).

Officials at the Chengdu commerce bureau said the city will deepen the link between consumption and trade through communication and cooperation.

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