The Foreign Ministry on November 6 welcomed China’s Railway Express to Ankara, saying Turkey will continue to take necessary steps within the framework of the Trans-Caspian East-West Middle Corridor.

The first freight train departed from Xi’an, China, which is Europe bound using Marmaray – Istanbul’s sub-sea tunnel, has arrived in Ankara on November 6, the Ministry said.

“This development is the latest example of our vision of enhancing the connectivity between the East and the West”

“Turkey, by improving its transportation infrastructure in recent years, has contributed to the development of uninterrupted connectivity between Asia and Europe,” the Ministry Stated.

Turkey will continue to take necessary steps with its partners in the region within the framework of the Trans-Caspian East-West Middle Corridor, which is considered to serve this purpose in the most efficient manner, the statement added.

Within the scope of One Belt One Road Initiative, which aims to connect Asia, Africa and Europe via road and sea lanes, a freight train will go to Czech Republic capital Prague from Xi’an, the capital city of Shaanxi Province in central China through Istanbul’s Marmaray sub-sea tunnel uninterrupted for the first time.

The train, which will go to Prague on a railway of 11,500 kilometres (7,145 miles), will carry electronic goods with 42 containers, said Fatih Erdoğan, the Head of logistic company Pasifik Eurasia, which undertook the railway’s Turkey section.

“As a result of significant cooperation with Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkic republics, we will conduct the first rail transportation through the China-Europe corridor,” he stressed in a press conference in Istanbul.

China and Europe’s trade volume is around $21 trillion while only 3 percent of the transportation of this trade is made through railway, he noted.

He added that the first transfer on Nov. 6 is so important because it will be the beginning of trade through this corridor.

Turkey has geopolitical importance and several opportunities in railway transportation, he highlighted. The rail transportation will reduce the transportation time between China and Turkey from one month to 12 days, while the whole journey from Xi’an to Prague will take 18 days.