Kunming gears up on Belt and Road
The city of Kunming, capital of Yunnan province, has featured in the global spotlight recently after hosting the 2017 South and Southeast Asia Commodity Expo and Investment Fair at its Dianchi International Exhibition Center.
Home to a comfortable climate and convenient links between China and South and Southeast Asia, Kunming has implemented policy seeking to take the lead in serving the Belt and Road Initiative.
The policy makes it clear that Kunming is an important pivot city along and Belt and Road and in the Yangtze River Economic Belt as well as a new highland for South and Southeast Asia.
Thus, the city government expects that by the end of 2020, it will have completed basic channels for transportation, energy, logistics and information and will expand its influence by hosting more international events.
Meanwhile, the city will boost the development of its special industries, constructing five bases covering advanced manufacturing, deep resource processing, biopharmaceuticals, special agricultural products and exports.
To further its openness, Kunming has built platforms to promote with other countries and regions and develop itself into an international hub facing South and Southeast Asia.
On May 12 this year, the first phase of the Kunming Free Trade Zone (FTZ) passed its acceptance check from the central government. Covering an area of 2 square kilometers, the FTZ is comprised of four areas for bonded logistics, bonded processing, port work and comprehensive services.
At the end of June this year, the Tengjun International Port Bonded Logistics Center (Type B) will receive its acceptance check from the central government. After that, the center will promote the construction of Yunnan’s special products demonstration bases, covering flowers and vegetables, an industry expert said.
Close to the middle part of Trans-Asian Railway, the 59,389-square meter center will also boost the construction of cross-border e-commerce enterprises and outward economic industry bases, provide complete services for customs clearance, goods storage, office work and sell imported products.
On April 11, a train with 36 containers of silicon set off from Kunming to Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Belonging to the China-Europe freight train service, the journey is 12,000 kilometers long and will save 40 days compared to sea transport.
Statistics from the Yunnan railway authorities show a total 85 containers were transported from Yunnan to Europe in 2016, but in April this year, another 80 containers were transported, suggesting rapid growth for the China-Europe train service.
In return, a growing number of food, beverages and milk powder from Europe are imported to China, creating excellent conditions for Kunming to become a magnet for outward economic enterprises.
It is expected that with more large-scale logistics enterprises and bases springing up in Kunming, such as a seamless logistics system, combined railway, airport and port, the city will become a hub for international logistics.
Kunming Free Trade Zone [Photo/Yunnan Daily]