Chongqing's transport system increases competitiveness

Chongqing Mayor Huang Qifan says the city's growing transportation system that reaches overseas makes the inland southwest municipality very competitive.

"Chongqing takes advantage of the Chongqing-Xinjiang-Europe railway, the expanding air channel and the Yangtze River gateway to attract more internal opportunities," said Huang, a deputy to the National People's Congress.

In the past, railways and airports that received foreign goods were located in coastal cities. When European goods were transported to China, they went through customs clearance in coastal cities and were then distributed to inland cities.

"We are applying to the State government to allow goods that arrive in Chongqing by railway to clear customs there. Thus, foreign goods will be able to arrive in Chongqing and be distributed all over the country," Huang said, adding that the city government has also applied to carry postal packages.

Chongqing is also applying to be the start of the Silk Road economic belt and the hub of a 21st century maritime Silk Road, connecting the Chinese interior to the world.

During the two sessions, many provinces applied to become part of the Silk Road economic belt to increase their connection with overseas.

Huang said Chongqing's advantage is that it connects with other cities by air, rail and water.

"The Yangtze River gateway has great potential," he said, adding that the cargo volume could double or even triple.

Inland provinces, such as Sichuan and Shaanxi, are also applying to be the start of the belt.

"Chongqing's electronic industries are needed in European countries," Huang said, adding that a cluster of industries in the city make products that are needed by the world and also important for further opening up.

The Chongqing Liangjiang New Area is an industrial and financial district that includes world-famous companies.

"The new area looks at improving trade development, relying on logistics development to build a goods exchange center in the inner land," said Tang Zongwei, deputy director of the Liangjiang administrative committee and also an NPC deputy. He added that the bonded ports and international logistics passage, including the railway, Guoyuan and Cuntan ports and Jiangbei international airport, provide a solid logistics center for boosting trade.

The Chongqing-Xinjiang-Europe international railway, a crucial foreign economic corridor, starts from Chongqing and bridges East and West.

Since the first service in 2011, 94 train services have carried cargo worth more than $2 billion on the railway from Chongqing. The debut return cargo service started from Duisburg, Germany, at the end of February 2013 and arrived in Chongqing on March 18.

"The Chongqing-Xinjiang-Europe international railway lifts the cooperation between Chongqing, especially the Liangjiang New Area, and Europe to a new level," Tang said.