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Qingdao opens its doors to world

Updated: Jun 13, 2018 China Daily Print

Following its successful hosting of the 18th Shanghai Cooperation Organization Summit over the weekend, Qingdao, Shandong province, is looking for more trade opportunities with SCO countries, especially by leveraging its "inland ports".

The inland ports are areas along the Silk Road Economic Belt that would improve efficiency and help clients reduce costs.

"It's like moving the port right to the doors of companies in inland areas and helping them find the most convenient estuary," said Jiao Guangjun, president of Qingdao Port International Co.

To date, the port has established 10 inland ports in Zhengzhou, Henan province; Xi'an, Shaanxi province; and the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region.

The inland ports will offer customs and inspection services so that goods can be directly transported to the port of Qingdao and from there to their global destinations.

With inland ports established, the port of Qingdao is better connected with Central Asia: Cargo unloaded at the port can be transported to the China railway container transport center in northern Qingdao where daily cross-border freight trains head to Central Asia and to several European and Southeast Asian countries.

"The freight train can reach any destination in the five countries of Central Asia within 14 days," said Wei Xuelun, deputy general manager of the center in Qingdao.

"The entire railway line stretches 4,500 kilometers, and it takes 30 days less than maritime transportation. This has greatly improved logistics efficiency," Wei said.

Trains have made more than 3,000 trips since the service opened in 2015.

The inland port in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region is located in the capital, Urumqi. It is connected by freight lines to 17 countries including Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Russia, Germany, Spain, Turkey and Iran. Many destinations are in SCO countries.

"We believe the SCO Qingdao Summit will further facilitate economic and trade links between China and the related countries," said Yu Chentao, deputy director of the business and information department of Qingdao Port Group.

"Qingdao will embrace more opportunities in the Belt and Road Initiative," Yu said. "The Port of Qingdao is likely to become a gate connecting Central Asia to the rest of the world."

xiechuanjiao@chinadaily.com.cn

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