URUMQI, — China’s northwest Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region is seeing an increase in foreign trade alongside increased China-Europe freight train travel, the construction and development of land ports and full bonded areas.

The region recorded more than 67.4 billion yuan (about 10 billion U.S. dollars) in foreign trade in the first five months of this year, up 30.9 percent year on year.

Customs in Urumqi, the region’s capital, said that from January to May, the region had trade with 157 countries and regions.

Since the beginning of this year, the number of China-Europe freight train routes via Alashankou port in Xinjiang has reached 80, departing from 24 provincial-level regions in China for 13 countries, including Germany, Russia and Hungary.

Xinjiang has two of the country’s four major ports for China-Europe freight rail services.

In 2011, the Port of Alashankou saw the first such train to Duisburg in Germany. Five years later, the port of Horgos welcomes its first China-Europe freight train.

Since the opening of China-Europe and China-Central Asia freight rail services, the ports of Horgos and Alashankou have recorded more than 50,000 China-Europe freight rail trips. In 2021, China-Europe freight trains carried 1.46 million TEUs of goods worth $74.9 billion, accounting for 8% of total trade between China and Europe, according to the China Railway Urumqi Bureau Group Co., Ltd.

Xinjiang is home to four comprehensive bonded areas in Kashgar, Alashankou, Horgos and Urumqi.

From January to April, the import and export volume of the four bonded areas totaled 9.5 billion yuan, accounting for 18.3 percent of Xinjiang’s total foreign trade during the period, Urumqi Customs said. .

Although some enterprises faced pressure from raw material shortages and reduced orders at the start of the epidemic, local authorities have helped them to resume and improve production.

“Now the clearance speed is very fast, and businesses are receiving more and more orders. In the first four months of this year, our trade volume was nearly 100 million yuan,” said Tursunay Gheni, head of a technology-related business venture in the Kashgar Global Bonded Zone.

Originally posted by XinHua