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Moscow-bound train opens new chapter for Xi’an park

By Lu Hongyan and Miao Jiayu (chinadaily.com.cn)

Updated: 2016-12-07

A Xi’an-Moscow freight train departed from the Xi’an International Trade and Logistics Park (ITL) on Dec 6, breaking new ground for logistics and trade between Xi’an and Europe.

This marks the third China-Europe line after the park launched a Warsaw-bound train in August and a Hamburg-bound train in November. The railway comprises an important step in implementing the Belt and Road Initiative and building a pilot free trade zone in Shaanxi as the province was included in a list of new pilot free trade zones to be set up in China in August.

The train carries products such as mechanical equipment, furniture and clothes in its 41 containers. Spanning 7423 kilometers, the train is expected to travel for 11 days before it arrives in Moscow. As the train will run on a regular basis, companies in inland China will see more opportunities to access global markets and build the brand of Xi’an city and Shaanxi province.

Moscow-bound train opens new chapter for Xi’an park

A Xi’an-Moscow freight train departed from the Xi’an International Trade and Logistics Park on Dec 6. [Photo/itl.gov.cn]

Qu Jinwei, general manager of the Xi'an International Inland Port Investment & Development Group - which is funded by the ITL to take care of its investment and development strategies - said that the Moscow-bound train will facilitate trade between China and Russia. In outlining further contributions the park will make to Shaanxi’s exports, Qu added that the park will open a Finland-bound freight train to expand logistics channels in the future.

Russian commercial representative, Sergei, said that he hopes the new freight train will boost cross-border e-commerce and economic ties between the two countries.

The China-European line opening this year and the China-Asia line opening in 2013 have become symbols of Shaanxi and the Silk Road Economic Belt, reflecting the increasing openness of Shaanxi. However, it is only part of the park’s initiative to raise its profile as it has recently been active in building global ties.

On Nov 25, the ITL signed cooperative agreements with the European companies of TEL, HUPAC and Intermodal and Rail Transportation Service Broker. Their developed transportation networks will help increase the efficiency of the China- European line, improve the quality of overseas services and facilitate the distribution of Chinese goods to European countries.

On Nov 24, Xi'an International Inland Port Investment & Development Group signed a strategic cooperation agreement with Linde International Logistics Group to build a bonded warehouse in Frankfurt. The warehouse was then opened in the vicinity of Frankfurt airport on Nov 26.

Linde Group, now manages logistical operations at Parchim International Airport and the bonded business park attached to it. The airport is situated in the northern state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommen and connects Hamburg and Berlin. The cooperation with the group will support the distribution of goods transported by China-European freight trains.

On Nov 23, a strategic cooperation agreement to expand the international market of the ITL was inked in Munich between Xi'an International Inland Port Investment & Development Group and MAAT Holdings and GGS.

The deal also marked the launch of the European branch of Ulife, an online and offline (O2O) retail platform for imported products developed in the logistics park. Ulife signed a deal with German kitchenware producer GGS on the day, which will allow GGS to make products exclusively for Ulife, allowing the platform to offer “made in Germany” products.

Given the achievement made so far, the park will further improve its logistics capacity so that more Chinese companies and products may access the European market. Authorities expect the park to become the largest inland port in China.

Edited by Zachary Dye

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