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Chongqing Plays Key Role of ILSTC With ASEAN Countries | In Depth

By ZHAN CHENICHONGQING|Sep 25,2022

Chongqing- “The cooperation would not have been possible without the New International Land-sea Trade Corridor (ILSTC),” said Feng Jianfeng, founder and chairman of Osell, one of the world’s leading cross-border e-commerce platforms, at the 19th China-ASEAN Expo (CAEXPO). 

On September 16, the opening day of the 19th CAEXPO, Osell and Laos Economic and Trade Group signed a cooperation agreement to establish Longcheng E-Commerce Technology Co., Ltd. to build a localized service center in Laos. In the next three years, at least 500 million US dollars of trade imports and exports will be realized, and 5,000 localized cross-border e-commerce talents for Southeast Asian markets such as Laos, Indonesia, and Vietnam will be cultivated.

The ILSTC has brought Chongqing and the western region closer to economic and trade exchanges with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). In a platform mainly facing the ASEAN countries like CAEXPO, the advantages and significance of ILSTC will be more vividly reflected, said Feng. 

CAEXPO

The 19th China-ASEAN Expo (CAEXPO) was held in Nanning on September 16. (Photo provided to iChongqing) 

ILSTC plays a key in trading quality products 

In addition to the local products, the quality products from the land-sea corridor are displayed in the Chongqing exhibition hall at CAEXPO, including Ningxia red wine, Lao coffee, Gansu wolfberry, etc. 

Built by New Land-sea Corridor Operation Co., Ltd., the platform of the quality products from the land-sea corridor aims to bring together the featured products of regions along the ILSTC and then distribute them around the world to promote international and domestic dual circulation.

“It’s not so much a quality product from the land-sea corridor, but it’s more about ILSTC’s participation in the CAEXPO,” said Liu Wei, head of the New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor Operation Organization Center. “As the ILSTC continues to advance, ASEAN countries also actively participate in the construction.”

ILSTC

Quality products from the land-sea corridor are presented at the Chongqing exhibition hall on 19th CAEXPO. (Photo provided to iChongqing)

Data shows that the goods imported and exported from Vietnam, Indonesia, and Thailand account for 62%, 12%, and 6% of the total value of the channel, respectively. Liu said, introducing the results of ILSTC to ASEAN and the world through the quality products platform can further play the intermediary role of the corridor and provide more development opportunities for the provinces, regions, and cities along the route. 

Chongqing shows ILSTC in the country’s major events

As the only municipality in central and western China, Chongqing actively participates the major events across the country with notable performance. The 22nd China International Fair for Investment and Trade (CIFIT) and the 19th China-ASEAN Expo (CAEXPO) are good examples. 

For instance, Chongqing served as a guest of honor at the 22nd CIFIT, an international investment event with global influence. Meanwhile, Chongqing was invited to participate in the 19th CAEXPO as the “city of charm” with a record high in exhibition areas and exhibitors.

“The reason why CAEXPO invited Chongqing to be the ‘city of charm’ is related to the fact that Chongqing and Guangxi are getting closer under the background of ILSTC,” said Zuo Yang, director of the convention and exhibition department of Chongqing Municipal Commission of Commerce. 

The Qinzhou Port in south China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. (Photo/ Xinhua)

Zuo continued, “Chongqing and Guangxi are both initiators of the channel at the beginning of its operation. They are also the inland hub and important sea outlet of the channel. The cooperation between the two parties on CAEXPO is an extension of the cooperation on ILSTC.” 

Chongqing is the operation and organization center of ILSTC, while Guangxi is the only province in China connected with ASEAN countries by land and sea. Thus, the Guangxi Beibu Gulf Port serves as a critical exit port, extending to more than 200 ports in over 100 countries and regions worldwide.

ASEAN has become Chongqing’s largest trading partner

This year marks the fifth anniversary of the sea-rail intermodal transport train’s opening of the New International Land-sea Trade Corridor (ILSTC). During the five years the ILSTC has experienced from an initiative to the current joint construction, from serving western China to the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and extending to the world. 

In five years, more regions of the country have participated in the ILSTC’s construction with a significant increase in international access, shipping goods, and transportation modes. So far, the ILSTC has expanded to 335 ports in 113 countries and regions.  

ILSTC

New International Land-sea Trade Corridor (ILSTC). (iChongqing file photo)

For example, the ILSTC has formed three major logistics organization types: international rail-sea, railroad intermodal, and cross-border road transport. Effectively connected with the China Railway Express and the Yangtze River Golden Waterway, the ILSTC has expanded its freight scale and radiation areas, reflecting its powerful synergy and great potential. 

According to the 2021 ILSTC Development Index, the ILSTC ran well last year with a development index of 112.9, where the three first-level indicators of scale, quality, and competitiveness achieved growth. 

The ILSTC not only promotes transportation but also drives the economy, trade, and industry. Statistics show that from January to June this year, the import and export between Chongqing and ASEAN totaled 66.29 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 5.2%.

The economic and trade relations between Chongqing and ASEAN have become increasingly close, and ASEAN has become Chongqing’s largest trading partner for three consecutive years.

Nowadays, an array of products from different countries can all arrive quickly and conveniently in Chongqing by multiple modes. Together with the other provinces and cities in western China, Chongqing will break out a great channel of opening to the outside world, striving to build an inland international logistics hub and port highland. 

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