China's Yiwu to launch 1,500 Europe-bound freight trains in 2021
A China-Europe freight train loaded with anti-epidemic supplies departs from Yiwu, Zhejiang province, for Malaszewicze, Poland. [Photo by Gong Xianming/For China Daily]
Yiwu, China's small commodities trade hub in eastern Zhejiang province, will launch more than 1,500 Europe-bound freight trains this year, according to a work report of the provincial government.
The cargo route linking Yiwu with Europe via Xinjiang in Northwest China handled 1,399 China-Europe freight trains in 2020, soaring by 165 percent year-on-year, said the report reviewed at the ongoing annual session of the provincial legislature.
As a major foreign trade engine in China, Zhejiang saw its exports grow by 9.1 percent year-on-year to nearly 2.52 trillion yuan ($388.5 billion) in 2020. It accounted for 14 percent of the country's total export volume.
Initiated in 2011, the China-Europe rail transport service is considered a significant part of the Belt and Road Initiative to boost trade between China and countries participating in the program.
As the COVID-19 pandemic greatly affected sea and air transport capacity, the China-Europe freight train service played a significant role in stabilizing international railway logistics. It ensured the smooth transportation of goods including epidemic control materials, given its all-weather, stable, and regular features.