European products arrive for New Year

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Trains from Europe are bringing fresh goods for Chinese people to put into their Lunar New Year shopping bags.

The Xi’an Railway Bureau and port authority have arranged international deliveries of European goods, including wheat and oil, to Xi’an, capital of Shaanxi province, allowing people from the interior provinces of China to enjoy shopping for overseas products for the new year.

According to the Xi’an Railway Bureau, a Sino-European train carrying about 3,700 metric tons of wheat from Kazakhstan and 2,000 tons of oil and other products from Russia will arrive in Xi’an before the Lunar New Year, which falls on Jan 28.

“The opening of an international freight route has benefited people in regions along the Belt and Road Initiative. Quality food from Russia and Kazakhstan will be served on Chinese people’s dinner tables, allowing them to have a different Chinese New Year,” the bureau said in a statement.

In November 2013, a direct rail freight service connecting Xi’an and Almaty, Kazakhstan, opened as part of the Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st Century Maritime Silk Road to increase trade with Central Asia and Europe. The freight services have expanded to Warsaw, Hamburg and Moscow.

China started China-Europe freight train service in 2011, and enhanced the service in 2013 under the initiative.

Last year, 1,702 trains left China, a 109 percent year-on-year increase, and 572 trains returned to China, up 116 percent year-on-year, according to the China Railway Corp.

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