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ILSTC Mirrors China's Greater Opening-up | Chongqing Opportunity

By ZHAN CHENWANG, XIAOYANICHONGQING|Jun 24,2022

Chongqing- Under the COVID-19 pandemic and generally grim economic situation at home and abroad, the New International Land-sea Trade Corridor (ILSTC) has made incredible progress in boosting domestic and international development, showcasing the country’s continual opening-up. 

Running through western China and connecting Southeast Asia and Euroasia, the ILSTC is a strategic corridor jointly built by China and Singapore under the China-Singapore (Chongqing) Demonstration Initiative on Strategic Connectivity (CCI). With Southwest China’s Chongqing Municipality as the operation center and the western provinces and cities as critical nodes, the ILSTC adopts railway, highway, sea transportation, and other transport modes to reach worldwide. 

Convenient transportation 

“The China-Laos Railway has shortened the logistics time and costs by a third, and cargo damage rate is basically zero,” said Yin Weijie, general manager of the Chongqing Hoosun Machinery Co., Ltd. which manufactures motorcycles. Due to its favor of Chongqing-made motorcycles, Southeast Asia has been an essential market for the firm, and the goods imports and exports have been facilitated further due to a series of convenient transportation routes. 

In addition to Southeast Asia, the firm also targets South America, Europe, and Africa markets. “We have a China-Laos railway to Southeast Asia, while China Railway Express (Yuxinou) to Europe. Now Chongqing’s role as an inland transportation hub is being further released,” said Yin. 

Customs statistics show that in the first four months of 2022, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) remains China’s largest trade partner, accounting for 14.6 percent of China’s total foreign trade, with the European Union and the United States ranking second and third. 

ILSTC

The New International Land-sea Trade Corridor is a strategic corridor jointly built by China and Singapore under the CCI. (iChongqing file photo)

Laos used to be the only landlocked country in Southeast Asia. Thanks to the China-Laos Railway, its featured products could export to China with its large labor force and certificate of origin, said Yao Yang, manager of LC International Logistics Warehouse Center in Luang Prabang, Laos. 

China’s opening-up

The ILSTC not only promotes transportation but also drives the economy, trade, and industry. For example, “the automobile and intelligent terminal industries, as the traditional representative ones of Chongqing, see the increased exports to many countries, forming a complete system of industrial, supply, and value chain,” said Hu Hongbing, deputy director of the Chongqing Port and Logistics Office.

Data shows that Chongqing has transported 37,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) through the ILSTC with 6.3 billion yuan (about 946 million U.S. dollars) from January to April this year, going up 12% and 22.2% year-on-year, respectively. 

ILSTC

Statistics of the New International Land-sea Trade Corridor. (iChongqing/ Chen Zhan)

Experts said that the ILSTC is highly consistent with the opening-up and development of the western region and the countries along the route. Internally, it is to crack the logistics problems in the west area to help China accelerate the new development pattern’s construction. Externally, it is to create new opportunities for developing countries and regions along the route to maintain the stability of the global supply chain. 

In the next step, the door of opening up will open wider in China. Hu said that the connection between a wide array of areas would be the ultimate goal, encompassing ASEAN, RCEP, Central Asia, Central Europe, and others, in which Chongqing is a significant node in expanding the global transportation network. 

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