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Vietnam Today

Vietnam - Europe railway link opens

Released at: 18:16, 13/03/2019

Vietnam - Europe railway link opens

Photo: Kazinform

First freight train completes journey along Vietnam - China - Kazakhstan - Europe route.

by Le Diem

The first trip along a Vietnam - China - Kazakhstan - Europe freight railway line was recently completed, initiated within a transport and logistics project of the Embassy of Kazakhstan in Vietnam together with the country’s Temir Zholy National Company (KTZ), Kazakhstan’s Kazinform news agency reports.

The first freight train contained 1,686 TEU of LG and Samsung goods shipped from Hanoi to the Vietnamese border gate of Dong Dang in Lang Son province and then through China and Kazakhstan before reaching Duisburg in Germany.

The entire trip took 22 days, including two days from Vietnam to China, but will be cut to 19 days in the future. According to Vietnam Railways, the volume of good transported along the route will increase significantly this year.

The opening of the railway route is the result of the strategic objective set by President Nursultan Nazarbayev to integrate Kazakhstan’s transport infrastructure into the international transport network and unleash the country’s transport potential in furtherance of the Nurly Zhol Government Program, which is interconnected with China’s Belt and Road Initiative.

In 2016, the Embassy of Kazakhstan in Vietnam and KTZ initiated work to establish and launch the route between Vietnam and Kazakhstan via China.

In February 2017, KTZ and Vietnam Railways in Hanoi signed a memorandum of cooperation that facilitated the further intensification of transport and logistics cooperation between the two countries.

Kazakhstan and Vietnam are now connected by two transport routes. One is the Kazakhstan logistics terminal in the port of Lianyungang (China), through which Kazakh wheat is transported to Vietnam, and the other via this new rail link.

Vietnam was the first country to sign a free trade agreement with the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU). The Kazakhstan - China - Vietnam railway line gives Kazakhstan and other EAEU countries the opportunity to export agricultural products (including meat and dairy products and other perishable goods that require rapid transportation) to Vietnam. In turn, Vietnam can export seafood and tropical fruit to Kazakhstan.

Vietnam is completing work on an FTA with the EU, which would make it possible to diversify the transport corridor and cut delivery times for goods from Vietnam and other ASEAN countries to Europe. The new railway line represents a viable alternative to maritime transport.

As at the end of 2018, trade turnover between Vietnam and Kazakhstan stood at $467.2 million, and the new rail link is expected to boost trade between the two considerably.

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