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China-Laos Railway Marks First Anniversary with 3,000 Trains Launched

By ZHAN CHEN|Dec 08,2022

Chongqing- The landmark project of high-quality Belt and Road cooperation, the China-Laos Railway, marks the first anniversary of its opening on December 3, 2022, which has injected strong impetus into the economic and social development along the route. 

In the past year, the China-Laos Railway has built a bridge to connect China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries, which reduces the logistics cost of cross-border transportation, improves logistics efficiency and expands the bilateral market. It has effectively driven the integrated development of logistics, industry, and trade of countries along the railway. 

China-Laos-Railway

Statistics of the China-Laos Railway. (iChongqing/ Chen Zhan)

As of December 2, 2022, the China-Laos Railway has cumulatively transported 11.2 million tons of goods, sent 8.5 million passengers, launched 3,000 cross-border freight trains, and transported goods worth over 13 billion yuan (about 1.87 billion U.S. dollars) across the border.

In the future, the New International Land-sea Trade Corridor (ILSTC) and enterprises in Laos will continue to carry out all-around cooperation of logistics, trade, industry, finance, and data to promote regional connectivity. They will make full use of the opportunities of the China-Laos Railway and Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) to deepen bilateral economic and trade exchanges and bring more tangible benefits to the people of the two countries.

Timeline of China-Laos Railway

China-Laos Railway

Significant events of the China-Laos Railway. (iChongqing/ Chen Zhan)

On December 4, 2021, the two freight trains departed simultaneously from Chengdu and Chongqing in southwestern China, heading for Vientiane, the Laos capital, marking the opening of this new logistics line. 

On December 25, 2021, more than 900 tons of Laotian rice and charcoal were sent from Vientiane South Station in Laos to Chongqing Tuanjiecun Station, the first return train after the opening of China-Laos cross-border train on ILSTC. 

On January 17, 2022, the China-Laos Railway special train for exporting Chinese motorcycles to Laos was launched for the first time, which was jointly organized by the New Land-sea Corridor Operation Co., Ltd. and Laos-China Motorcycle Association.

On January 29, 2022, the Thailand special train of polished glutinous rice was opened, marking the first time Thai agricultural products reached China through the China-Laos Railway. 

On May 21, 2022, the country's first outbound train of China-Laos Railway using the mode of railway express was opened, as a mark of the China-Laos Railway of the ILSTC (Chongqing - Vientiane) taking the lead in the two-way railway express era.

From May 29 to June 7, the outbound trains of the China-Laos Railway completed three batches of whole-vehicle exports for the first time and realized regular operation.

On July 5, 2022, China (Chongqing) - Laos Economic and Trade Cooperation Exchange Meeting was held in Chongqing. The Laos-China import and export commodity distribution center was unveiled the same day. 

On October 29, 2022, an international freight train of the China-Laos Railway loaded with Lao beer arrived at the Xiaonanya Railway Logistics Hub Center in Jiangjin District, Chongqing. 

On December 2, 2022, the first inland fruit cold chain train of the China-Laos Railway started from Vientiane, Laos, heading for Chongqing, marking the new cold chain fruit transportation route of the China-Laos Railway, Thailand-Laos-Chongqing.

(Tan Jingyue, as an intern, also contributed to this report.)

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