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Chongqing Ready to Build a Comprehensive Hub for Inland Opening-up | Insights

By RAN ZHENG|May 31,2024

Chongqing - Chongqing's role in constructing a comprehensive hub for inland opening up was highlighted during the fifth plenary session of the sixth Communist Party of China (CPC) Chongqing Municipal Committee on May 24, according to a press conference the next day.

A cargo ship laden with goods departs from the Guoyuan Port terminal. (Photo/Wang Jiaxi)

Yang Lin, Director of the Port and Logistics Office of Chongqing, announced plans to enhance the New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor (ILSTC), expand the China-Singapore, China-Myanmar, and China-Laos corridors, and boost efficiency on major routes like the China-Europe Railway Express (CRE) and the Yangtze River Golden Waterway. The goal is to ensure year-round access for 5,000-ton ships and develop a dense international passenger and cargo network covering key RCEP city routes.

Each district has leveraged its strategic position to expand its transportation network. Guoyuan Port, in Chongqing's Liangjiang New Area, has integrated four major international channels, including the ILSTC, the China-Europe Railway Express (Chengdu-Chongqing), the Yangtze River Golden Waterway, and the Chongqing-Manzhouli-Russia freight railway.

Tang Xiaoping, Secretary of CPC Shapingba District Committee, highlighted Shapingba's key role in Chongqing's open corridors. The district plans to introduce two new international routes and two overseas warehouses and increase intermodal transportation volume by over 10%. Shapingba also aims to build intelligent railway ports, implement digital bills of lading, and enhance the "one-stop" public booking platform.

Zheng Liwei, Secretary of the CPC Hechuan District Committee, discussed plans to develop a multimodal transportation system linking northward to the CRE via the Lanzhou-Chongqing and Xiangyang-Chongqing Railways and southward to the ILSTC. The district will improve highway and waterway connections and complete the Lize Shipping Hub, a key project of the Chengdu-Chongqing economic circle.

The Jialing River Lize Shipping Hub is located in Qiantang Town, Hechuan District, Chongqing. (Photo/Hechuan District)

Creating effective open platforms is essential for Chongqing's development as an inland opening hub. Shapingba will focus on establishing a comprehensive operation center, an intermodal container-sharing center, a cargo distribution center, and a digital intelligence financial innovation center. The district targets 100% growth in meat port imports and 20% growth in pharmaceutical port imports.

Hechuan will accelerate the construction of Weituo Logistics Park, enhance customs integration, and expand railway freight functions. The district aims to develop bulk logistics, warehousing, and trade businesses and establish a transit point for goods entering and leaving Chongqing.

Qin Shubin, Vice Director of Chongqing Liangjiang New Area Administrative Committee, emphasized plans to develop a port economic area and implement a "cross-border e-commerce + industrial zone" model. They aim to establish export integration, processing, and dismantling centers while focusing on fostering international trade, headquarters economy, modern services, and digital economy projects in Cuntan International New City.

Liangjiang New Area is China's third national-level opening-up and development area, following Shanghai Pudong and Tianjin Binhai. (Photo/Yang Qifan)

Furthermore, Chongqing's comprehensive inland opening hub aims to drive open economic development. Yang noted that they will build Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) import-export commodity distribution centers and expand high-end consumer goods and bulk commodity distribution.

Zheng said Hechuan would continue to grow export-oriented industries like general machinery and glass, support enterprises' overseas expansion, and launch special trains for food and agricultural products.

Qin also announced plans for Liangjiang New Area to collaborate with institutions such as the National University of Singapore and Nanyang Technological University. They aim to work with Singapore to create a benchmark park for international sci-tech innovation cooperation and deepen partnerships with ASEAN countries in industrial, infrastructure, and green development.


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