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Southern Transport Corridor focus of China-ASEAN Expo

By Yuan Shenggao | China Daily | Updated: 2018-09-12 07:44

Distribution hub facilitates economic and trade cooperation between China and ASEAN, Yuan Shenggao reports.

Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region will move quickly to shore up areas of weakness in the construction of the Southern Transport Corridor, facilitating the exchange of goods between China and Southeast Asia and further releasing the market potential of trade between the two regions, officials said.

The Southern Transport Corridor is an important artery linking China's western provinces to Association of Southeast Asian Nations countries through the Beibu Gulf in South China's Guangxi. By this route, goods coming from the western provinces of China can be shipped to Singapore by road, railway and waterways. The route also connects Europe to Southeast Asia, with Chongqing as the vital railway link.

"Starting in 2017, the construction of the Southern Transport Corridor has made some substantial progress. But at the same time, there are difficulties and problems to be solved," said Wei Ran, deputy director of Beibu Gulf Economic Zone and the ASEAN Cooperation Office of the Guangxi government.

Guangxi will work to make breakthroughs in bottlenecks along the corridor and promote the development of key projects, Wei said.

In addition, construction of land and marine routes will be strengthened so as to create a joint transport network. It will also improve the service and the business environment along the route as well as establish influential logistics brands. Long-term cooperation and a coordination mechanism for the construction of the corridor will also be established.

The full name of the Southern Transport Corridor is the China-Singapore (Chongqing) Connectivity Initiative Southern Transport Corridor. A joint venture between China and Singapore, it is positioned as a new strategic pivot in Southwest and Central China's opening-up.

The corridor is expected to offer a shorter, quicker and cheaper trade route between western China and Southeast Asia, helping the region expand its economic cooperation with Europe and the rest of the world.

This year marks the 15th anniversary of the China-ASEAN strategic partnership. Aimed at promoting bilateral trade and investment, this year's China-ASEAN Expo and the China-ASEAN Business & Investment Summit, now in its 15th edition, will be held from Wednesday to Saturday in Nanning, capital of Guangxi.

According to Guangxi's government, this year's expo will serve the country's Belt and Road Initiative and promoting the construction of the Southern Transport Corridor will be an important part of the effort.

In addition to establishing a special exhibition zone for the Southern Transport Corridor, the expo will host a series of promotional events, and economic and trade exchange activities focusing on the design and development of the corridor, helping participants reach more consensus on its development.

"The corridor helps shorten the distance and saves time in shipping goods from the western region to Southeast Asia. More importantly, it helps expand the economic and trade exchanges with ASEAN countries, promote the western region's opening up and development," said Wang Lei, director of Guangxi International Expo Affairs Bureau.

"As an international economic and trade conference jointly hosted by China and ASEAN countries, the expo provides such an optimal platform for cooperation," he added.

"After 14 years' successful hosting of the expo, a sound working mechanism and channels of cooperation have been formed. The expo allows the western region better cooperation with ASEAN countries in an all-round way," he added.

During the expo last year, a symposium on cold chain logistics was held, which played a positive role in promoting the development of cold chain logistics in the corridor.

"This year, we will continue to give full play to the expo's resource-gathering advantages, and establish more mechanisms in the areas such as customs, logistics and quality control. These will provide solutions to the problems arising in the construction of the Southern Transport Corridor," Wang said.

Southern Transport Corridor focus of China-ASEAN Expo

The 15th China-ASEAN Expo will be held from Wednesday to Saturday in Nanning, capital of Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region.Yu Hong / For China Daily

Southern Transport Corridor focus of China-ASEAN Expo

Southern Transport Corridor focus of China-ASEAN Expo

Qinzhou Port at Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region facilitates local economic growth and opening up in recent years.Zhou Jun / For China Daily

(China Daily 09/12/2018 page10)

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