Chinese and Dutch delegates wait for the departure of the 202nd freight train on the Chengdu-Tilburg direct railway link in Tilburg, the Netherlands, Sept. 22, 2017. (Xinhua/Rick Nederstigt)
TILBURG, The Netherlands, May 22 (Xinhua) -- Chinese and Dutch railway link operators on Tuesday celebrated three years of successful operation of cargo express between Chengdu and Tilburg and signed a MOU with the Port of Rotterdam to extend subsequent transportation via this route and transit from eastern coastline of North America, Britain, Ireland, Scandinavian and Baltic areas.
Applauded at a festive ceremony, a cargo train loaded with food, automobile and auto parts from the Netherlands, France and Spain departed from the railway terminal of GTV group based in Tilburg. As the 750th train on this link, it will travel through countries like the Netherlands, Germany, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and in 15 days arrive at Chengdu, capital of China's southwestern province of Sichun.
In their MOU, operator of the Sichuan part, Chengdu International Railway Port Investment & Development Group, the Port of Rotterdam and GTV Group the Dutch operator agreed to jointly develop China-Europe multimodal transportation including but not limited to the shipment of goods from the eastern coast of North America to Rotterdam then via the "Rotterdam -Tilburg-Chengdu" to China. Such multimodal transportation can be extended on shortsea connection via Britain, Ireland and Scandinavian and Baltic areas.
Peng Qinghua, secretary of the Sichuan Provincial Committee of the Communist Party of China, said the cooperation will expand the coverage and capacity of services of China-Europe railway links, providing more efficient infrastructure conditions for deepening cooperation between China and European countries.
"The fact that the Sichuan province through the Belt and Road Initiative has recognized the potential of Brabant and its logistical possibilities is both joyful and opens new horizons," said Marc Glaudemans, director of economic and international affairs of Province of Noord-Brabant.
Mayor of Tilburg, Theo Weterings said that the success and strength of the cooperation between GVT Group and its Sichuan partner represents the friendship between his country and China. "Thanks to the Chengdu-Tilburg-Rotterdam Express, the logistic sector in Tilburg is flourishing," he said.
For Zhang Guosheng, economic counselor of the Chinese Embassy in the Netherlands, the railway links between Chengdu and Europe have grown into a flourishing two-way trade route and inject strong momentum into economic cooperation between China and Europe.
"The MOU signed today allows Chengdu-Europe railway links and Port of Rotterdam to pool together their railway and maritime advantages to develop multimodal transportation to include the shipment of goods from and to other regions," he said, adding that it will certainly bring new trade opportunities to countries along the Belt and Road routes.