On Sunday, the green flag waved for the inaugural run of the China-South Asia freight service. It’s a great boost for trade links.
Operation of the first China-South Asia international freight route is officially underway from Sunday, linking Lanzhou, the capital of Gansu province, and Katmandu in Nepal.
Following the launch of regular service on Sunday, the Lanzhou-Katmandu freight transportation will travel once a week, and is likely to expand to twice a week by the end of the year.
On May 11, the first Lanzhou-Katmandu freight train set out from Dongchuan Railway Logistics Centre in Lanzhou International Harbour Area. So far, four trains carrying more than 120 containers have been running along the freight route, creating a total export volume of 200 million yuan (Rs 180 million).
This is intended to strengthen China-South Asia trade, which is in line with China’s ongoing “Belt and Road” initiative.
Now smart entrepreneurs from India can hook up with Nepal to bring goods overland, thus saving time and money as well. Who knows, in the near future we may even see a Chinese freight train offloading goods in Bihar. All it needs is a little bit of economic diplomacy and planning, said an observer.
The freight route is made of three parts: a 2,431 km Lanzhou-Shigatse railway section, a highway from Shigatse in Tibet to Gyirong and a second railway section of 160 km from Gyirong to Katmandu. It takes around 10 days, 35 days less than previous land and sea routes.
It is also the third international train in Gansu after the Lanzhou-Alma-Ata train and the Lanzhou-Hamburg train.
[Prepared from inputs on China daily by Tenzing]