Open Governance
Shortest International Railway from Southeast Asia to Europe via Sichuan Opened

On the morning of December 29, the first China-Laos freight train via Panzhihua departed from Panzhihua Railway Station. It is the first international freight train fully loaded with Sichuan-made goods to be transported to other places after the new Chengdu-Kunming Railway was put into operation. It directly exports goods to ASEAN countries, marking the opening of the shortest, most efficient, and most stable international railway from Southeast Asia to Chengdu via Panzhihua and to western China and Europe.

The first freight train is jointly assembled and shipped by the provincial southbound channel operation platform under Sichuan Port and Shipping Investment Group Co., Ltd. (SPSI), and Panzhihua. The 22-railcars train consists of 24 containers and is fully loaded with titanium dioxide, building materials (ceramic tiles), mechanical and electrical products, and other industrial finished products made in Sichuan, which are worth about 10 million yuan. It is expected to arrive in Vientiane, Laos in 3 days and will reach Vietnam, Thailand, and other ASEAN countries through connected railways or highways. Compared with the previous road-sea multimodal transport, the journey via the China-Laos Railway is at least 15 days shorter.

ASEAN is an important growth region of Sichuan's foreign trade, with total trade volume accounting for nearly 20% of the province's total. The China-Laos Railway is a milestone project of the joint promotion of the Belt and Road Initiative. It directly connects China with ASEAN countries with Chinese technical standards. On December 26, the new Chengdu-Kunming Railway was put into operation, marking the opening of the shortest land bridge main channel in Sichuan connecting China and Laos and serving ASEAN.

"This new channel diversified the forms of logistics." According to SPSI, the launch of the China-Laos freight train is a landmark achievement to realize the overall planning and integrated operation of southbound trains such as China-Laos freight trains in the province. Next, the provincial southbound channel operation platform will better coordinate and integrate the resources relevant to southbound trains from cities (prefectures) along the route, provide professional services concerning logistics, trade, industry, finance, and data, better meet the different freight needs of Sichuan enterprises and Sichuan-made goods, and promote the opening of China-Laos international freight trains throughout Sichuan.

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