Shaanxi province’s goal to make provincial capital Xi’an a global trade hub linking China with Europe by rail took another leap forward on Jan 2, when the province confirmed a deal with Kouvola, Finland to establish a “Northern Corridor” rail link connecting Xi’an and the Finnish city.
Representatives from Shaanxi province’s Department of Commerce and Xi’an International Trade and Logistics Park signed a strategic cooperation agreement laying out the foundations for the “Northern Corridor” project with Kouvola Innovation Ltd, a development company owned by the city of Kouvola, during a trip to the city in southern Finland.
Representatives from Xi’an International Trade and Logistics Park sign a cooperation agreement with the Finnish company Kouvola Innovation Ltd on Jan 2. [Photo/itl.gov.cn]
The deal includes agreements concerning the construction and joint development of the corridor, with both sides striving to become transport hubs for their respective regions. The two parties also agreed to hold annual meetings to discuss possibilities for further cooperation.
The new rail link is expected to open new trade possibilities between China and Finland. Kouvola lies on the junction of the northern European country’s north-south and east-west railways and is a major road transport hub, allowing convenient access to the rest of the country.
The two regions already have a strong trade relationship. Statistics show that as much as 30 percent of paper pulp and paper product exported from Kouvola each year goes to China, while China exports large amounts of consumer goods to the European market.
After inking the agreement, the delegation from Shaanxi was shown around Kouvola’s logistics center, which is the end point of the Eurasian Continental Bridge as well as an important transportation hub in Scandinavia.
A delegation from Shaanxi province is given a tour of the logistics center in the city of Kouvola, Finland on Jan 2. [Photo/itl.gov.cn]
Several e-commerce start-ups in Kouvola are reportedly willing to establish ties with China. The management committee of the Xi’an park has pledged to encourage companies in the area to cooperate with their Kouvola counterparts with respect to logistics channels and cross-border e-commerce business.
Xi’an International Trade and Logistics Park also plans to accelerate the opening-up of the region’s market, boost cooperative ties with foreign countries and improve facilities for exporting goods to China’s inland areas.
Edited by Dominic Morgan