China and Germany are planning a huge trade and logistics park in Urumqi, capital of northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.
Urumqi Economic and Technological Development Zone (UETDZ) and the port of Duisburg will build a trade and logistics park close to Urumqi West Railway Station with a core area of 2.2 square kilometers, extending to a potential full area of 120 square kilometers, according to the memorandum signed on Thursday.
A newly established company, Xinjiang International Railway Port Limited Liability Company with a registered capital of 200 million yuan (31 million U.S. dollars), will be responsible for the operation of the park.
The Port of Duisburg, considered the world’s largest inland port, will hold 20 percent of the company. The UETDZ and associates will hold the remaining 80 percent stake.
A weekly cargo train service will open in the first half of this year between Duisburg and Urumqi, according to the agreement. Cargo will then take only 12 days from Xinjiang to Germany, rather than the current 45 days by sea, said UETDZ official Liu Shaohua.
The park, close to Urumqi high-speed rail terminal and airport, will integrate railways, highways and air transit, said Chen Gang, head of the UETDZ committee.
The annual rail cargo is expected to reach 20 million tonnes in 2020 and 50 million tonnes in the long term, said Chen. The plan will make Xinjiang part of the European logistical network and bring Sino-Europe trade to a new level.
China’s trade with the EU dropped by 7.2 percent in 2015, but Duisburg expects extensive cooperation with Xinjiang in trade and logistics, said Erich Staake, chairman of Duisport Group.