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Chongqing's Auto Exports to Central Asia Skyrocket Fortyfold

By ZHAN CHEN|May 26,2023

Chongqing - As the inaugural China-Central Asia Summit in Xi'an drew to a close on May 19, an ambitious vision emerged to foster a deeper and more interconnected Sino-Central Asia community.

Chongqing's influential vehicle exports are fueling this community, an industry leveraging exceptional multimodal logistics and innovative automobile manufacturing.

On May 14, a train, filled to capacity with 256 Chongqing-manufactured automobiles, chugged away from the Chongqing Yuzui Freight Station, its destination - Kazakhstan via the Horgos Port in Xinjiang.

"Chongqing's products are capturing more international interest, as witnessed by our escalating order books," remarked Liang Jie, General Manager of Chongqing Xingou Customs Declaration Service Co., Ltd. "This prompts an increasing demand for superior logistics and transportation services."

JSQ train designed for Central Asia for vehicle exporting 

Lacking coastal ports, Central Asian countries are heavily dependent on overland transportation, and the burgeoning demand for Chongqing vehicles surpasses the capacity of railway and road transport.

Chongqing-made vehicles were exported to Central Asia. (Photo/Chongqing Customs District)

Addressing this challenge, Chongqing Customs District, in collaboration with railway transportation departments and Chongqing vehicle-export firms, implemented unique transportation and customs clearance strategies in 2022.

"After thoroughly examining transportation methods, we settled on the JSQ train as the optimal solution for Central Asia," explained Liu Xiangbin, Chief of Chongqing Customs District.

The innovative JSQ special train design allows vehicles to be driven directly into compartments sans the need for brackets, enabling each container to accommodate 9-10 cars. This results in an estimated 15% reduction in operating costs per vehicle.

The arrival of the JSQ train has imbued Chongqing's leading automobile manufacturers with increased confidence in exporting vehicles to Central Asia. Beyond generating sales profits, this expansion further enhances the industrial, supply, and value chains, bolstering Chinese automobile brands' global stature and reputation.

Chongqing's foreign trade with Central Asian countries from January to April 2023. (Graphics/Chen Zhan)

Chongqing exported over 120 million USD to Central Asian countries

Between January and April, Chongqing's exports to Central Asia soared to 850 million yuan (about $120.22 million), marking a staggering 1.7-fold year-on-year increase.

Figures reflect the exponential growth in exports to Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Kyrgyzstan, exporting 530 million, 280 million, and 30 million yuan, up 1.6 times, 1.9 times, and 9.3 times, respectively.  

During the same period, the exports of mechanical and electrical products were also on the rise with 780 million yuan, up 1.7 times yearly. 

Notably, private enterprises have become a significant player, contributing over 60.6% of Chongqing's total exports to Central Asia, an impressive doubling in value to reach 520 million yuan. 

Chongqing's foreign trade with Central Asian countries from January to April 2023. (Graphics/Chen Zhan)

In this period, Chongqing exported 4,119 vehicles to the five Central Asian nations of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, an explosive growth, with vehicle exports and value soaring by 17.8 times and 39.6 times, respectively.

SAIC Hongyan, a prominent heavy vehicle manufacturer in Chongqing, has recently exported 100 smart heavy trucks to Kazakhstan and other Central Asian nations. These vehicles, from traction to special-purpose types, are set to revolutionize urban construction, logistics, and fire safety operations across Central Asia.

The diverse range of vehicles exported includes traction, self-unloading, and special-purpose vehicles. These machines are poised to drive significant advancements in Central Asia's urban construction, logistics transportation, and fire safety sectors. This powerful blend of utility and versatility actively contributes to the ongoing development of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and fortifies the Central Asian economic circle.


Chongqing's foreign trade with Central Asian countries from January to April 2023. (Graphics/Chen Zhan)

Central Asia, sharing a long border with China, holds strategic value. Each of the five Central Asian countries has already forged comprehensive strategic partnerships, some even permanent, with China.

Central Asia holds the distinction of being the first region to embrace the BRI. Given the world's current volatile climate, the China-Central Asia Summit has emerged as a critical forum to achieve consensus on the BRI's construction between China and Central Asian countries, according to CGTN.


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