Chongqing- To further promote the New International Land-sea Trade Corridor (ILSTC), China and Singapore jointly issued a cooperation plan under the China-Singapore (Chongqing) Connectivity Initiative (CCI). The related officials from different departments interpreted the plan at a press conference on June 8.
“Running through the western region of China and connecting Southeast Asia and Euroasia, the ILSTC is a strategic corridor jointly built by China and Singapore, relying on the Chongqing Connectivity Initiative,” said Zeng Jinghua, Director of the China-Singapore (Chongqing) Demonstration Initiative on Strategic Connectivity Administrative Bureau (CCIB).
Over the past five years, the ILSTC has formed three significant logistics organization types: international rail-sea intermodal transport, cross-border road transport, and international railroad intermodal transport. Effectively connected with the China Railway Express (CR Express) and the Yangtze River Golden Waterway, the ILSTC has expanded its freight scale and radiation areas, reflecting its powerful synergy and great potential.
The ILSTC is planned to form a network development pattern of double hubs, multiple pivot points, and multiple channels. Specifically, with Chongqing and Singapore as dual hubs, Nanning, Chengdu, and other important cities in western China will function as numerous pivot points. Qinzhou and other Beibu Gulf ports will operate as important interchange points, and the ILSTC will form a multi-channel network through a combination of rail, water, and air transport modes.
The plan proposes medium and long-term goals. By 2025, a new corridor will be completed for trade, logistics, industrial cooperation, and scientific and humanistic exchanges between western China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The total trade volume of Chinese places along the ILSTC with ASEAN is expected to reach 180 billion U.S. dollars. The rail-sea combined transport container volume will reach 500,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs), and the cross-border railroad trains will achieve 2,000.
The long-term goal is to form a multi-dimensional, efficient, open, secure, and stable modern interconnection network that effectively connects the Eurasian continent and benefits western China, Southeast Asia, Central Asia, Europe, and other regions by 2035.
As the operation center of the CCI and ILSTC, “Chongqing should take the lead in opening up,” said Zeng. With nearly 50 key cooperation projects, Chongqing launched 26 projects first. The China-Singapore “Single Window” Connectivity Data Exchange Project, Sino-Singapore customs cooperation, and paperless electronic bill of lading are some cases.
Zeng released five sectors of critical tasks at the press conference, including the cooperation of trade, industry, infrastructure and supply chain logistics, financial services and investment, and channel digitalization. The plan also proposes strengthening cooperation in other areas such as talent exchange, cultural tourism, education, and training.
For example, Chongqing will facilitate the Sino-Singapore international data channel infrastructure and cooperation on digital technology applications such as smart cities and digital economy. The automobile and its supporting industries should be carried out to establish a stable and sustainable supply chain system for the cooperation between Chongqing, Singapore, and other countries and regions along the route.
As the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) comes into effect, the CCI will lead in trade investment, innovation, and exchange platforms. China and Singapore are active participants and promoters of RCEP, said Sun Xiyong, CCIB deputy director. It will facilitate more enterprises in Chongqing and western regions to participate in international cooperation under the RCEP framework.
As a unique advantage of Chongqing, the CCI will help Chongqing build an open inland highland. Zeng said, “We will take this press conference as a starting point to call more market players to participate in the ILSTC construction, creating favorable conditions for opening up and cooperation between western China and ASEAN countries.”
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