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Qingdao playing big role in international transport

China Daily | Updated: 2024-06-17 09:42

Visitors check out an exhibition hall at the China-Shanghai Cooperation Organization Local Economic and Trade Cooperation Demonstration Area in Qingdao, Shandong province, in May 2023. [Photo/Xinhua]

A truck operating under an international customs transit system known as TIR recently traveled from the customs area of the China-Shanghai Cooperation Organization Local Economic and Trade Cooperation Demonstration Area in Qingdao, Shandong province, to Moscow, Russia, completing the trip in just seven days.

TIR, which stands for Transports Internationaux Routiers, or International Road Transports, is designed to help save time and money for transport operators and customs authorities as goods are shipped across borders.

Over 60 trips have been completed since the inception of the TIR route between the demonstration area in Qingdao and Moscow last year, according to SCODA's administrative committee.

The rapid growth of TIR highlights the significant role SCODA plays in the development of international logistics corridors and promoting interconnection among countries that are members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

"Six years on, SCODA has leveraged its prominent transportation advantage and has become a gateway for the Asia-Pacific region, linking Japan and South Korea to the east, Eurasian areas to the west, Mongolia and Russia to the north and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to the south," Chen Wansheng, deputy secretary-general of Qingdao's city government, said at a news conference on Friday.

SCODA has been recognized as a national-level logistics hub for commerce and trade services, Chen said.

It has 32 railway services operated by China-Europe freight trains, connecting 54 cities across 23 countries that are SCO members or are involved in the Belt and Road Initiative.

"The China-Europe freight trains have made over 3,200 trips, making Qingdao one of the top 10 cities in terms of this freight service," Chen said.

SCODA's global transportation role is further enhanced by its proximity to Qingdao Jiaodong International Airport, which connects to 146 domestic and international cities, and Qingdao Port, which serves SCO-related countries via 42 shipping routes.

Besides its increasing role as a logistics hub, SCODA has substantially contributed to trade, international investment and cultural exchanges. Official data shows that the total value of its imports and exports over the past six years stands at 21.34 billion yuan ($2.93 billion).

"Focusing on key areas such as the industrial internet and high-end equipment, SCODA has enhanced industrial cooperation with SCO and BRI countries," Chen said.

SCODA has helped companies in Qingdao invest a total of $3.52 billion to fund 232 projects in countries such as Russia and Kazakhstan, according to official data.

Han Xingang, deputy director of the reform office of the Communist Party of China Qingdao committee, said that to pursue the high-quality development of SCODA, Qingdao "will make more efforts on reform and innovation and introduce institutional systems to coordinate international economic and trade rules and common appeals from SCO countries".

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