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New China-Myanmar railway route to boost Asean trade

The first international freight train linking Chongqing and Lincang in southwest China to Myanmar is about to leave the Yuzui station in Chongqing on Monday, May 23, 2022. XINHUA PHOTO

The first international freight train linking Chongqing and Lincang in southwest China to Myanmar is about to leave the Yuzui station in Chongqing on Monday, May 23, 2022. XINHUA PHOTO

A new international railway route from southwestern China’s Chongqing municipality to Mandalay in southern Myanmar has been launched, with the first freight train leaving the Chinese town on May 23 and set to arrive in the Southeast Asian city about 20 days earlier than what it would take on traditional routes.

The new route is expected to strengthen Chongqing’s connectivity with members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) and signatories of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), Chongqing official Ba Chuanjiang said.

The train, loaded with 60 20-foot-equivalent units (TEUs) containing equipment, electronic components and automobile parts, left the Liangjiang New Area in Chongqing for Mandalay and would pass through Lincang in China’s southwestern Yunnan province, Chinese media outlet cnr.cn reported last Tuesday.

The new route opens another path for exports from Chongqing and neighboring regions, as their products can reach Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia through the seaport of Mandalay, according to Yuxinou Logistics, a local rail logistics company operating the Yuxinou (Chongqing-Xinjiang-Europe) Railway.

Chongqing will further promote the integration and development of other transportation methods from the metropolis to Myanmar, while the returning train from that country to Chongqing could be loaded with products from Myanmar and other Southeast Asian nations, said Xi Dan, manager at Yuxinou Logistics.

The total route spans 2,000 kilometers, starting from Chongqing and ending at the Mengding-Chinshwehaw border gate to Mandalay. Delivery time is 15 days, 20 days shorter than the traditional route. With the new route, logistics costs can be lowered by 20 percent.

The route’s launch comes as China and Asean members are bolstering logistics connectivity after the unveiling of the China-Laos Railway, a major project under the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative, in December 2021.

This railway has seen significant passenger and freight transportation, underscoring the booming trade between China and the regional bloc. As of earlier May, the railway had recorded more than 2.7 million passenger trips and 2.9 million metric tons of cargo since it opened, according to official data.

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Credit belongs to : www.manilatimes.net

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