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First Prague-Yiwu Train Has Departed
Post Time: 18/09/2017

On the morning of September 9, the first Prague-Yiwu China Railway Express (CRE) train departed from the Yiwu West Railway Station. This marked the first return trip from Yiwu to Prague since the first Prague-Yiwu CRE train arrived in Yiwu on August 4. Additionally, this line is the ninth international railway originating in Yiwu. Sheng Qiuping, Ji Jinfu, and Shi Wenzhen, members of the Jinhua and Yiwu governments, attended the departure ceremony.

       This train is loaded with 88 standard containers of cloth, clothing, footgear, scarfs, Christmas decorations, alternating-current motors, bearings, and other small commodities from Yiwu, which are valued at 3.35 million dollars total. It will pass through Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, and Poland and arrive at Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic. The entire journey will take about 16 days.

       The construction of the station in the Czech Republic is an important measure of the Zhejiang Government that is designed to support the Belt and Road (B&R) Initiative; it has also served as a key platform built by China and the Czech Republic and designed to share information and resources. Next, Yiwu will choose a city in the Czech Republic with a superior location and a strong logistics network and build an integrated open area on that spot. The area will become a service center of comprehensive coordination for Zhejiang-European cooperation, a transfer station for commodities from central and eastern European countries, and a junction for international logistics and cross-border e-commerce. It will integrate various functions of conducting logistics with trade, production, processing, and cultural exchange. Likewise, there will be a Czech Town—the China-Czech industrial park in Yiwu, which will become a paradigm for inter-connective work in the construction of the B&R.

       Since the opening of the CRE (Yiwu), the fulcrum of Zhejiang’s participation in B&R construction, Yiwu’s export trade has increased rapidly, and import trade has grown from nothing. These findings indicate that the channeling effect of the CRE in the construction of the B&R is continuously enhanced. After three years of development, the CRE has successfully begun the regular operation of two departing trains and one returning train each week.

       Statistics from Hangzhou Customs show that between 2013 and 2016, import and export trade through the Yiwu CRE has tripled annually, and the total volume reached three bn RMB in 2016; the import and export of high-tech products increased 5.1 times. During January and August of this year, 7786 CRE standard containers received supervision services from Hangzhou Customs, a yearly increase of 60.54%, among which the number of import containers multiplied by 12.5, totaling 1,946 containers in all.

       In order to ensure the smooth operation of the first Prague-Yiwu train, a regulatory procedure of railway transportation was in cooperation with the port customs by the Yiwu customs, considering the characteristics of Yiwu's export supervision of small commodities. As a result, a special service window was set for the Prague-Yiwu railway.

       In regards to the rapid growth of import and export trade through the Yiwu CRE, Hangzhou Customs launched a transfer-customs mode of railway-highway joint transportation. Through this mode, imported cargo will be first transported to Yiwu by rail and then transferred to other areas of the country by highway. By doing so, the coverage of the Yiwu CRE has been effectively enlarged.

       “Next, we will provide companies with more help in import customs clearance and customs clearance reservations and continue to improve the efficiency of CRE customs clearance,” said Yuan Guohua, director of the Monitoring and Inspection Sector of the Yiwu Customs, who is in charge of railway custom services. (By Chen Xiaowen, translated by Luo Shuru, edited by Xiamara Hohman)

 

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