Freight train boosts ASEAN trade

2023-08-11 09:47:01China Daily Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

A freight train carrying 46 containers traveled from North China's Hebei province to Hanoi, capital of Vietnam, last week, the latest route linking China and an Association of Southeast Asian Nations economy.

The train, laden with products worth some 5 million yuan ($693,300), departed Shijiazhuang, capital of Hebei, on July 24 and arrived in Hanoi on Aug 2. It is the first freight train connecting Hebei and Hanoi.

Carrying metal equipment, chemicals and fertilizers, the train exited China via the Pingxiang land port in the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region in the south of the country.

"It takes at least 15 days for goods to travel from China by sea to Southeast Asian countries, such as Vietnam. The new railway route greatly reduces travel time and will provide strong support for foreign trade enterprises to further explore the ASEAN market," said Li Jiangna, a manager at the Shijiazhuang International Land Port.

"Grabbing the opportunities of the 10th anniversary of the Belt and Road Initiative and implementation of the RCEP (Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership), we will operate more freight train services between Hebei and Vietnam," said Liu Ruiling, president of Hebei Land Port Group. "We also plan to set up overseas warehouses in Vietnam."

Vietnam is an important export destination for Hebei, and one of the province's most crucial trade and investment partners among ASEAN economies. The Shijiazhuang-Hanoi route will bring more benefits and opportunities for people from both sides, he added.

Benefited by the implementation of the RCEP, economic and trade relations between Hebei and ASEAN economies have become closer, said Liu Jinping, general manager of Shijiazhuang International Land Port.

The rail service will operate weekly to promote the sale of high-quality products made in Hebei to ASEAN countries, and also to boost the sale of ASEAN commodities in Hebei, enhancing the deepening of two-way trade, Liu added.

It is the latest route in China's growing international freight train network.

On July 29, China-Europe freight train trips hit 10,000 for the year, 22 days earlier than the year before, according to China State Railway Group, the national railway operator.

Those trains have transported over 1.08 million containers of cargo, up 27 percent year-on-year.

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