The Chongqing-Xinjiang-Europe International Railway is one of the first and busiest lines on the China Railway Express, a pilot project of China’s Belt & Road Initiative.
Since it first opened in 2012, over 10 thousand trains have travelled through the Khorgos Gateway on the China-Kazakhstan border, connecting customers in Chinese coastal markets with businesses across Eurasia.
“Our business is good. We have a lot of Chinese customers. Some wholesalers have come all the way from Urumqi and Beijing.”
“Chinese tourists really like our wine. Every day the goods leave quickly and the number of sales is high. We plan to scale up and expand the range of alcoholic beverages.”
The trains provide a convenient and relatively cheap mode of transportation. That’s one of the key advantages of China’s southwestern transportation hub.
Over two-thirds of the freight are goods originating from the country.
Professor Pu Yongjian Chongqing University “High-tech centers in coastal areas are more vulnerable to the impact of global recessions after COVID-19, the trade war, and so on.
On the other hand, the potential of southwestern inland provinces and cities have not been fully developed. So, in the long-run it’s wise to build an equally strong and comprehensive transportation network to make up for that neglect.”
Ma Ke Chengdu “The China-Europe Railway Express has made over five thousand trips just in 2020. And the region plans to open a new line just for cross-border e-commerce orders by the end of this year.”
Wu Xiaowei Deputy Manager Chengdu Free Trade Supply-Chain Service “Our platform facilitated over a million cross-border e-commerce orders last year. This year, the port is planning direct lines to European Cities.
The trains will make two trips per week, working specifically for e-commerce businesses. We’ve had over 80 foreign trade companies requiring about the new service and we’re confident that a comprehensive transportation system will help our business grow.”
The twin cities of Chongqing and Chengdu have now been guided into the fast track of development, taking number five and seven respectively in the 2020 municipal GDP ranking.