By Yuan Shenggao | China Daily | Updated: 2020-09-16 00:00
As a key port city of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road and the Silk Road Economic Belt, Xiamen in Fujian province has played a crucial role in enhancing economic and trade exchanges with countries and regions involved in the Belt and Road Initiative. This is thanks to its fast development of logistics channels, said local officials.
To date, Xiamen has opened 51 new shipping routes to the Maritime Silk Road, attracting nearly 170 well-known companies involved in ports, shipping, logistics, and trade worldwide.
Last year, the container throughput of Xiamen Port completed 11.12 million twenty-foot equivalent units, making it the 14th largest port in the world. In June and July this year, the monthly container throughput of Xiamen Port exceeded 1 million TEUs. In 2015, the first China-Europe train departed from the Fujian Pilot Free Trade Zone in Xiamen via Chengdu. The train has become a vital logistics route for ensuring Sino-European trade exchanges and cooperation.
At present, Xiamen has opened freight train routes to Central Europe, Central Asia and Russia, reaching more than 30 cities in 12 countries. These including Poznan, Poland; Budapest, Hungary; Hamburg, Germany; Moscow, Russia; and Almaty and Tashkent in Central Asia.
By Aug 15, 168 international freight trains had left Xiamen with a total of 14,778 TEUs and a cargo value of $583 million. More than 800 trains have traveled in five years, carrying 62,090 TEUs with a cargo value of $2.39 billion.
Since the beginning of 2020, the China-Europe freight trains have carried masks, protective clothing, medical equipment, shoes, hats and clothing and other urgently needed materials to countries and regions involved in the Belt and Road Initiative. At the same time, Xiamen opened new flight routes to build a three-dimensional transport network encompassing sea, land and air.
At present, there are 21 routes from Xiamen to countries and regions involved in the Belt and Road Initiative. They form a route network with Xiamen as the core, covering Southeast Asia and Northeast Asia, and connecting Asia, Europe, America and Australia. Statistics from Xiamen Customs show that in 2019, Xiamen’s imports and exports to countries and regions involved in the Belt and Road Initiative totaled 202.19 billion yuan ($29.49 billion). It represented an increase of 14.4 percent from 2018 and accounted for 31.5 percent of Xiamen’s total foreign trade value.