Train line to Europe spurs opening-up

Updated: 2017-06-14
By Song Mengxing(China Daily)

Despite being an inland province, Jilin has actively integrated into the Belt and Road Initiative to give new impetus to the prosperity of Northeast China, local officials said.

Electronic devices can now be more easily exported from Changchun, capital of Jilin province, to Europe because of the Changchun-Manzhouli-Europe train line. The line, which had its trial run in August 2015, leaves China via the rail port in Manzhouli in the Inner Mongolia autonomous region and passes through Russia, Belarus and Poland before finally arriving in Germany.

The line extends about 9,800 kilometers and takes 14 days to transport goods from Changchun to Schwarzheide, Germany, saving more than 20 days compared with maritime transport.

The route has become a new bridge for trade relations in Eurasia, Xinhua News Agency reported.

Zhang Hongming, an executive at Fuyao Group Changchun, said that the company previously transported cargo by sea from Dalian, Liaoning province in Northeast China, to Hamburg in Germany.

Sea transportation was not only time-consuming but also made it easy to lose the cargo's value because of high humidity and high variations in day and night temperature during transportation, Zhang added.

In late April, the company's 48 paper boxes of front windscreens, used for Audi automobiles, were loaded into the Changchun-Manzhouli-Europe train to be transported to Heilbronn, Germany.

Noted companies such as Volvo, Huawei and Samsung Electronics also use the freight line. It saw exported and imported cargo worth $110 million in the first quarter of 2017.

Some important areas in Jilin aim to help the province to better participate in the Belt and Road Initiative and promote international cooperation.

Among them is Jilin city and the Jilin City Bonded Logistics Center, which saw the volume of traded goods reach 13,063 metric tons in the first three months since it began operation on Jan 17.

Jilin Chemical Fiber Group, a large manufacturer of acrylic fibers based in Jilin city, has expanded in overseas markets and become an important client in the logistics center.

In Hunchun, which borders Russia and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, you can find foreign businesspeople on the streets and signboards in Russian and English.

A development and opening-up pilot zone, which comprises the Yanbian Korean autonomous prefecture and some regions in Changchun and Jilin cities, is an important strategy for Jilin province to integrate into the Belt and Road Initiative, local officials said.

The Sino-Singapore Jilin Food Zone in Jilin city is an important cooperation project between the two countries in the agriculture and food safety fields. The zone focuses on six areas, ranging from food processing, international logistics and scientific research services, to leisure and travel.

Companies in Jilin province have also furthered their international business presence, local media reported. CRRC Changchun Railway Vehicles has exported its trains to Saudi Arabia, Iran and the United States. Jilin Universal Machinery acquired several advanced European aluminum product companies. Jilin Northeast Peasant Madame has become a sweet corn supplier of US Dole Food.

Train line to Europe spurs opening-up

US workers visit CRRC Changchun Railway Vehicles to learn about subway manufacturing techniques.[Photo provided to China Daily]