Business / Industries

New Silk Road creates business opportunities

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-03-27 17:34

FRANKFURT - Freight trains connecting Europe and China along the "New Silk Road" railway had enormous potential that would be fully tapped, according to a minister from the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW).

"This opens new opportunities for business cooperation not only for NRW, but also for other parts of the country, Western Europe and China," Economic Affairs, Energy and Industry Minister Garrelt Duin told Xinhua in a written interview.

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The international railway originates from the southwestern city of Chongqing in China, crosses the border into Kazakhstan at Alashankou, and passes through Russia, Belarus and Poland before reaching its terminus in Duisburg, a western German city in NRW's Ruhr area. The railway is named "Yu Xin Europe railway," also referred to as the "New Silk Road."

Duisburg is right at the heart of Europe, through which major transport corridors from north, south, east and west Europe pass. The "Yu Xin Europe railway" cuts the five-week shipping time of the past to only about two weeks, Duin said.

"In order to fully tap the potential, we will use all our communication channels to inform the business community," he said.

NRW had witnessed a boom in Chinese investment, Duin said. As a result of the rapid growth of China's economy, some 800 Chinese companies, including many multinational corporations, are based in NRW today, compared to 100 in 2003.

Chinese investors had created and secured about 8,000 jobs in the state and brought capital, new ideas, products, procedures and methods, he said.

Economic relations between NRW and China date back to the early 1980s.

"We are happy we took this step at an early stage," Duin said, adding it was no coincidence NRW was the top location for Chinese investors in Germany now.

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