Shandong companies seek business opportunities in Central Asia

(| Updated : 2023-09-05

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File photo of a China-Europe freight train. [Photo/WeChat account: gh_52bb36a0b7eb] 

China-Europe freight trains and ports have been creating more and more export opportunities for companies in Shandong while facilitating the import of essential goods and promoting the balanced development of trade in the region.

Since October 2018, the "Qilu" China-Europe freight train service has fully leveraged Shandong's advantages as a dual land and sea hub for the Belt and Road Initiative, and actively promoted the exports of advantageous industries and deepened economic and trade cooperation between Shandong and Central Asian countries.

As of Aug 28, a total of 3,757 trains have plied the "Qilu" China-Europe freight train route between Shandong and Central Asia, accounting for 45.6 percent of the total in the province.

In addition, Shandong's ports have fully utilized their advantages as transport hubs, jointly expanding the international logistics channels for the Japan-South Korea and Southeast Asia routes.

The ports have allowed high-quality goods such as home appliances, used cars, and daily necessities from Japan and South Korea to enter Central Asia and created routes that connect Southeast Asia, Japan, and Central Asia. This has established a major import channel for low-cost and high-efficiency living materials for Central Asian countries and beyond.

In 2022, the ports handled 38,000 TEUs in transit, a 1.3 percent increase compared to the previous year.

Shandong's heavy industries have since 2022 exported more than 6,600 vehicles and equipment, including heavy-duty trucks, buses, agricultural machinery, and engineering equipment to Central Asian countries. The export trade value of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan was approximately 1.6 billion yuan ($219.1 million).