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11 Apr 2018

Seven countries discuss China-Europe freight rail services in Minsk

MINSK, 11 April (BelTA) – The rail operators of seven countries have met in Minsk to discuss the China-Europe freight rail services, BelTA learned from the press service of Belarusian Railways.

The meeting of the joint working group on China-Europe freight rail services opened on 10 April. During the two-day session experts from seven countries: China, Belarus, Germany, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Poland and Russia will be working in subgroups to discuss transportation, marketing, and information interaction.

The meeting will focus on container transportation technology on China-Europe route and infrastructure development, ways to increase the speed of container trains, expand the geography of routes, develop electronic information exchange with customs and other regulatory authorities to ease control procedures for freight traffic, and international postal shipments, e-commerce goods, cargo in refrigerated containers, and so on.

“Over the past few years, the volume of container transportation on China-Europe-China route has annually doubled for Belarusian Railways. In 2017, it amounted to 257,000 TEU containers,” head of Belarusian Railways Vladimir Morozov said.

Liu Zhenfang, Deputy Director General of Chinese Railways, stressed that the significant growth in the China-Europe container train transportation has given a great impetus to the efforts to connect the infrastructure of the countries of Asia and Europe, to promote trade and economic relations between the countries involved in the transportation, and to increase the profitability of the railways of these countries. According to him, 2017 saw a total of 3,673 container trains on the China-Europe route. These trains transported goods worth of $16 billion. Today, container trains connect 43 cities of China with 41 cities in 13 European countries.

Belarusian Railways has been working to develop the terminal infrastructure on the Belarusian-Polish border, to redistribute container train flows and to set up new routes for container trains. In addition to the Krasnoye-Orsha-Brest route Belarusian Railways has launched container trains through the border checkpoints Bruzgi-Kuznica Bialostocka and Svisloch-Siemianowka, First Deputy Head of Belarusian Railways Igor Shilov informed.

Belarusian Railways sees the benefits of cooperation with China not only in ensuring transit but also in increasing transportation of cargoes for Belarusian enterprises. The increase in exports to China has been also due to the Great Stone industrial park project. In order to create the optimal conditions for Belarusian exporters, Belarusian Railways has been tapping into the capacity of the container hub in Minsk – Kolyadichi railway station of the transport and logistics center of Minsk, Belarusian Railways added.

The joint working group has been set up to implement the agreement to deepen cooperation in China-Europe freight rail services between the rail administrations of seven countries: China, Belarus, Germany, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Poland and Russia. The agreement was signed one year ago, in Minsk in April 2017.

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