Chinese and Dutch delegates participate in the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the departure of the 202nd freight train on the Chengdu-Tilburgdirect railway link in Tilburg, the Netherlands, Sept. 22, 2017. (Xinhua/Rick Nederstigt)
TILBURG, The Netherlands, Sept. 23 (Xinhua) -- More businesses should get on board the direct railway link connecting Tilburg in the Netherlands and the Chinese city of Chengdu, said Dutch and Chinese officials on Friday when celebrating the first anniversary of this promising connection.
Tilburg is the second largest logistic hub in the Netherlands, while Chengdu is a city 10,947 km away in China's southwest Sichuan province.
"The Chengdu-Tilburg express reinforces the position of our regions as transit hubs. Thanks to this railway link, goods can be exchanged no fewer than three times quicker than by water and significantly cheaper than by aeroplane," said Bert Pauli, vice-governor of the province of Noord-Brabant where Tilburg is located.
Pauli made the remarks ahead of a ribbon-cutting for the departure of the 202nd freight train on this link. Zhu Hexin, vice governor of the Chinese province of Sichuan joined the ceremony, attended by representatives from the companies that are jointly operating this railway link, member of the Tilburg municipality as well as dozens of industry partners.
Fully loaded with cargoes of Dutch beer, the leaving train will arrive in Chengdu in about two weeks.
Nowadays with three trains running westbound and three eastbound per week, the Tilburg-Chengdu service is one of the most regular and loaded links of China Railway Express to Europe (CR express).
On the Tilburg-Chengdu link, cargoes coming from China are mostly electronics for multinational groups such as Sony, Samsung, Dell and Apple as well as products for European aerospace industry. Cargoes transported to China include auto parts, new cars and food product.
"Tilburg, situated at an ideal strategic location and the region of Brabant, home to excellent logistical service providers who are more than ready to collaborate with China, can become the gateway to Europe for Chengdu," said the Dutch vice-governor.
Zhu agreed that the link bears great influence for both economies. "Take a look at the population in my province, you can be assured that a huge market is waiting for your milk powder, beer and other goods," Zhu told the audience.
For Zhang Guosheng, economic counselor of the Chinese Embassy in the Netherlands, the success of the Tilburg-Chengdu direct railway link forecasts opportunities for more cooperation in the logistic industry for both countries.
"Apart from more possibilities of cooperation in economic and trade, this express expands the range of solutions for logistics between China and the Netherlands, even Europe. When railway-air, railway-maritime links fully play their roles, the Netherlands will become more significant as a logistic center, trade flows and supply chains between Asia and Europe, " explained Zhang.