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Chongqing Pilot FTZ to Intensify Cooperation with Regions along ILSTC

By VIVIAN YANICHONGQING|Sep 15,2021

Officials from the pilot Free Trade Zones (FTZs) in provincial regions along the ILSTC, including Chongqing, Guangxi, Sichuan, Yunnan, and Hainan, jointly discussed and catalyzed the coordinated development of relevant FTZs at the Closed-door Meeting for Efficient Linkage of FTZs in Provinces along the New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor (ILSTC) held in Nanning. 

The Closed-door Meeting for Efficient Linkage of FTZs in Provinces along the New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor was held in Nanning. (Photo/ Chongqing Municipal Commission of Commerce)

Building a test field for system innovation

This meeting aims to promote the establishment of an alliance of the FTZs, leverage the driving role of ILSTC and the demonstration and leading role of FTZs, advance the coordinated development and win-win cooperation of these FTZs and exploit their own characteristics and advantages, thus fueling their integrated and high-quality development.

The FTZs in the city or provinces along the ILSTC will collectively build a test field for system innovation, promoting the implementation of the national strategies, including the Belt and Road Initiative and ILSTC.

They will join efforts to build an enabling business environment that liberalizes and facilitates trade and investment and energizes market entities.

Meanwhile, they will concertedly deepen the integration of transportation and logistics economies, forge a new development pattern guided by channels, supported by hubs, interconnected and efficient, play a driving and leading role, and facilitate the high-quality economic, social development in provinces along the ILSTC.

The China (Chongqing) Pilot Free Trade Zone (CFTZ) will leverage the linking role of Chongqing as a bridge between the Belt and Road route, and the Yangtze River Economic Belt, according to Gong Zhiyong, a member of the leading Party group of the Chongqing Municipal Commission of Commerce.

A picture of Chongqing in a bird’s eye view. (iChongqing/ Vivian Yan)

CFTZ will build a center of channel logistics and operation organization based on a solid foundation, forge a high-quality international comprehensive logistics hub, and improve the operation efficiency of channel logistics in line with high standards, in a bid to continuously enhance the interconnectivity of the ILSTC.

Based on its own strategic positioning and the characteristics of inland opening-up, the CFTZ will further explore the international land-borne trade rules, optimize the service environment of the rail-sea intermodal transport system of one single bill of lading, improve the financial service functions of channels, and promote information and data exchanges and sharing.

With these efforts, the CFTZ will continuously improve the interconnectivity of ILSTC to strengthen the cooperation with the FTZs (free trade ports) along the ILSTC.

Optimizing channel logistics organization model

The CFTZ has also continuously innovated and optimized the channel logistics organization model and promoted the model of shipping with railway containers.

By doing so, the CFTZ has saved the time and costs of container replacement, addressed the imbalance among the surplus of railway containers, and solved the lack of shipping containers and inventory containers.

As a result, the CFTZ has improved the operational efficiency of freight trains and reduced the overall customs clearance time by 40%.

In the first half of this year, 952 rail-sea intermodel transport trains (departed from Chongqing) were dispatched, carrying 47,880 TEUs, a year-on-year increase of 147%.

The value of goods transported amounted to 6.05 billion yuan (about 937.82 million U.S. dollars, including foreign trade value of 3.54 billion yuan), up 128% year on year.

A rail-sea intermodal train under the International Land-Sea Trade Corridor from Qinzhou, Guangxi to Chongqing departed on the morning of July 28 and arrived in Rongchang District on July 31. (iChongqing file photo)

Chongqing saw 1,666 departures of regular lorries to ASEAN countries via cross-border highway transport. The number of TEUs transported jumped 70% to 3,749, with the value surging 107% to 997 million yuan.

The international rail-road intermodal freight train (Chongqing-Vietnam) transported 1,006 TEUs, registering a year-on-year growth of 56%, with a value of about 1.7 billion yuan.

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