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Germany benefits from China's Belt and Road with Sino-Europe rail links

07/21/2015| 9:38:33 PM|

The 8 international rail freight routes linking China and Europe together conducted 308 trips last year, up 285% from a year earlier, as the "New Silk Road" .

The eight international rail freight routes linking China and Europe together conducted 308 trips last year, up 285% from a year earlier, as the "New Silk Road" runs its course, reports the Shanghai-based China Business News.

The Sino-Europe rail linking Chongqing and Duisburg

China's promotion of the international rail freight routes is chiefly aimed at developing its central and northwest economy. The only way to effectively boost these regions is by integrating Central Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, said Zhou Yun, research fellow at the German Institute of Global and Area Studies (GIGA).

Hans-Jorg Schimdt-Trenz, CEO of the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce, welcomed China's construction of bridges, roads and rails linking its neighbors, saying it will contribute to the economic development of neighboring countries, benefiting both China and the world.

The Sino-Europe rail began from the route linking with China's Chongqing and Duisburg of Germany in 2011, and now four freight trains make the trip every week.

The Chongqing-Europe rail is helping Chinese enterprises export their products to the European market. In fact, North Rhine-Westphalia, where Duisburg is based, is the most concentrated area for Chinese investors, having received investments from more than 800 Chinese enterprises.

The international rail freight is faster than by sea and costs lower than air transport, a double bonus for inland countries and areas. When the Sino-Europe rails began operations, transport volume was low and less frequent. Now most trains are usually full when they start out from China, and empty when they return.

Schimdt-Trenz attributed the imbalanced freight to China's 'world factory' status, which makes it a largely export-oriented country. China should further expand imports and adjust its economic structure to achieve a balance, said the report.

Although rail freight is becoming more popular now, it still cannot replace cargo by sea, said experts.

Since China advocated the "Belt and Road" initiative, Germany has been supporting calls to establish the Silk Road. In general, the German public has a positive evaluation of the project, said the report.

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TAGS: Railway | Germany | China | one belt one road
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