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Freight trains to Europe to transit via Kazakhstan

Released at: 11:39, 07/03/2017

Freight trains to Europe to transit via Kazakhstan

Photo: Kazakhstan Embassy in Hanoi

The Khorgos free economic zone in Kazakhstan to become a bridge for goods coming to and from Vietnam and Europe by train.

by Quynh Nguyen

A delegation from the Vietnam Railway Corporation (VRC), led by Deputy General Director Phan Quoc Anh, visited Kazakhstan recently, the Khorgos economic free zone, and Altynkol train station on the Kazakh-Chinese border.

Mr. Anh said he highly regarded the important role of Khorgos and the railway station at the border. “This trade route has great potential and is a connection between Southeast Asia and Europe,” he said.

He believes that ASEAN countries can link freight routes to Europe via Khorgos. “Vietnam has officially signed a free trade agreement with Eurasian Economic Union countries, which will facilitate Vietnamese goods going to Eastern and Western European countries,” he said.

“This year, Vietnam will see the first cargo shipment to Kazakhstan and Central Asia and Europe through Khorgos. At the same time, we plan to transport wheat and other Kazakh commodities by rail directly to Hanoi, not through the seaport in Lianyungang city in China.”

“We are very interested in Vietnam and we especially prefer container trains,” President of National Company Kazakhstan, Temir Zholy Amanzhol Ibragimov told  the Vietnamese guests.

On his earlier visit to Vietnam, Mr. Temir Zholy Amanzhol Ibragimov  met Minister of Transport Truong Quang Nghia and General Director of VRC Vu Ta Trung on February 20 to discuss transportation cooperation between the two sides and signed a Memorandum of Cooperation.

The Vietnam-EAEU FTA, which took effect on October 5, 2016, is expected to expand trade between Vietnam and the five EAEU countries: Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Armenia and Kyrgyzstan.

Under the agreement, 90 per cent of tariff lines have been cut or reduced. Of those, 59 per cent were removed right after the agreement took effect, offering great advantages for Vietnam to compete with other countries in exporting to the region.

With a population of 183 million and a GDP of $2.2 trillion, along with increased consumption, the EAEU is a potential market for Vietnamese goods. The FTA will offer Vietnamese firms the opportunity to boost exports of garments and textiles and footwear, wooden products, seafood, fruit and vegetables, and coffee and tea to the region, thanks to lower tariffs.

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