HANGZHOU, Sept. 9 : To boost China-Europe connectivity under the Belt and Road Initiative, China has started new cargo train for Prague, Czech Republic. The train loaded with 88 containers carrying cloth, clothing, shoes, hats and Christmas items left east China’s Yiwu City Sunday morning for Prague, the Czech Republic. It will pass through Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, and Poland and travel about 16 days before arriving in Prague. The journey is about half the time for traditional sea voyage.

On August 4, the first train from Prague arrived at Yiwu, east China’s Zhejiang province.

Before the launch of the Prague route, Yiwu, often called the “world supermarket,” already boasted eight freight train routes.

According to customs statistics, imports and exports via Yiwu’s Sino-Europe freight service have grown rapidly, reaching 3 billion yuan in 2016.
On May 13, a train left Yiwu to become the 1,000th freight train linking China and Europe this year. As of that time, China had 51 Sino-European freight train routes, with trains from 28 Chinese cities travelling to 29 cities in 11 European countries.

Chinese President Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road Initiative is about Commerce, connectivity and cooperation between nations, and the project encompasses 69 countries in Asia, Europe and Africa which collectively include 4.4 billion people and claim a gross domestic product of US$21 trillion. Xi hopes annual trade between China and countries along the belt and road will expand to US$2.5 trillion within a decade.


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