An example of China's (Chongqing) Pilot Free Trade Zone as seen in Shapingba District, Chongqing (WEI YAO)
An emerging transportation network that synergizes train routes to Europe and Southeast Asia will help Chongqing, a municipality in southwest China, play a pivotal role in international trade, local officials said.
"As processing industries relocate to Southeast Asian countries in the wake of rising labor costs in China, the network will provide clothing manufacturers in Vietnam and Malaysia with easy access to raw materials and markets," said Fu Jiakang, Deputy Director of the General Office of the China (Chongqing) Pilot Free Trade Zone (FTZ).
This land corridor is more cost-efficient than traditional marine routes. Convenient transportation is one of the major advantages for Chongqing to pilot an inland FTZ, Fu added.
Established last year, the FTZ has explored new ways of facilitating trade and investment. In the first half of this year, its import and export volume totaled 153 billion yuan ($22 billion), accounting for 67 percent of Chongqing's total trade capacity. Paid-in foreign investment reached $3.4 billion, making up 79 percent of the total foreign direct investments.
(Reporting from Chongqing)
Copyedited by Craig Crowther
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