China's central Henan Province is aiming to become a logistics center serving the Belt and Road development.
Containers are loaded to a freight train of China Railway Express at a railway container center in Zhengzhou, capital of central China's Henan Province, Dec. 25, 2017. [Photo/Xinhua]
Riding the wave of China's proposed international cooperation initiative, the province is exploring ways for air-land-water coordinated transportation, becoming a link to all regions, and attracting more cross-border traders to the area.
"Newly made winter clothing can always get transported in time to the company's headquarter in Spain and then head to outlets all over the world," said Mou Yimin, vice manager of a logistics company handling Spain-based Inditex's apparels and accessories in Zhengzhou, the provincial capital.
Mou said Inditex's logistic network used to cover only first tier cities like Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, but now it also extends to Zhengzhou because of the city's high efficiency in custom clearance and convenience as a transportation hub.
In terms of connection over land, Zhengzhou is increasingly linked with the rest of the world on rail, which is notably attributed to the flagship train service under the banner of the China Railway Express.
The Zhengzhou-Europe express railway service, which opened in 2013, hit the 1,000-trip milestone last December. The trains on this route travel at 120 kilometers per hour and make eight roundtrips every week, usually carrying motor vehicle components, electronic devices, flower seedlings and precision instruments.
In terms of air transportation, the provincial capital has become the Asian logistic center of the "Silk Road in the air" between Luxembourg and Zhengzhou.
Luxemburg's freight cargo planes take16 routine flights every week to its destinations, and can increase the frequency to 23 times per week during peak seasons.
Through the modern Silk Road, cherries from Chile, dairy products from Europe and high quality red wine have entered Henan's market at a reasonable price.
"Our company has moved from Shenzhen to Zhengzhou because of the city's high efficiency both in logistics and administrative procedures," said Lyu Jianhua, an administration manager. "Most of the time, we can finish the administrative procedures online without going to government offices."
Henan Province has incorporated "internet plus" (applying the internet and other information technology in conventional industries) into its public service to cut red tapes and administrative procedures, thus forging a more pro-business environment.
"Responding to the report to the 19th CPC National Congress, Henan Province will promote innovative policies to facilitate free trade and investment, and serve the development of the Belt and Road Initiative," said Zhu Zhaolong, vice head of the administrative office in the Zhengzhou area of Henan pilot free trade zone.