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Henan on right economic track

By Shi Baoyin and Qi Xin in Zhengzhou | China Daily | Updated: 2017-04-01 07:55

The unique geographical location of Central China's Henan province positions it perfectly to take advantage of opportunities opening up along the Belt and Road Initiative economies, said the Secretary-general of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, Danny Alexander.

Alexander said the provincial leadership's plans to capitalize on the development opportunities brought about by the growth of logistics hubs and the expansion and integration of its rail, road and cargo facilities will bring huge development benefits - not only for the freight industry, but also for other industries along the value chain.

These include the information technology, insurance, security, travel services and other sectors, said Alexander, who is also vice president of the AIIB.

Alexander made the remarks recently at the two-day 11th China (Henan) International Investment and Trade Fair.

The Belt and Road Initiative, which was proposed by President Xi Jinping in 2013, aims to build a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along the ancient trade routes.

"Shared, win-win benefits are critical to the Belt and Road's success," Alexander said.

Through the Belt and Road Initiative, China is encouraging economies along the Belt and Road routes to work together to boost connectivity and support regional integration.

One example is the Zhengzhou-Europe Block Train. The new freight container block train - an efficient trainload service where all cars carry the same commodity and are shipped from the same origin to the same destination, without being split up or stored en route - runs from Henan's capital, Zhengzhou, to the continent.

"Take the route to Hamburg in Germany for example," said Helmut Vollmers, managing director of EMONS Multitransport Gmbh.

"The transit time is cut to nearly 12 days, compared with 35 days in the past by ship. It is very convenient."

His company has worked for Zhengzhou International Hub Development and Construction Co, Ltd, a state-owned enterprise, since 2016. He pointed to a world map and said he had witnessed an upgrade in logistics efficiency to "fast speed" with the development of Zhengzhou-Europe Block Train.

Vollmers said the advantage for his delivery company in Germany, was that goods such as auto parts and clothes - coming to Henan province from other cities across China - were sent to Hamburg, where his company dispatched them to the whole of Europe.

Chen Run'er, governor of Henan said: "More national planning and strategic platforms, such as Zhengzhou Airport Economy Zone and Henan Pilot Free Trade Zone, have been approved by the State Council.

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