Dec 10
Chengdu showcases 'first-store economy' to stimulate demand
The concept of first-store economy is about factors behind opening the first of many stores that can boost local consumption. A first store of a well-known brand or chain operating elsewhere is said to stimulate local people's desires and demands. Consumers can understand the brand's products and services, said Ou Jianling, secretary-general of the Chengdu Retail Business Association.
Such a business model was first tried in Shanghai last year, and Chengdu followed suit.
In the first half of 2019, some 237 new brands set up storefronts in Chengdu-only behind Shanghai and Beijing, data from the local commerce bureau showed.
Chengdu showcases 'first-store economy' to stimulate demand
These stores, run by companies from countries including the United Kingdom, France, the United States, Japan and South Korea, boosted Chengdu's total retail sales by 10 percent year-on-year to 366.03 billion yuan ($52 billion) in the first half of this year.
Chengdu introduced its own policies to push the growth of first-store economy in April. Ou said the opening of new stores is just the first step. Chengdu also encourages locals to build their own signature or flagship shops that can potentially migrate to other cities.
"Major cities such as Chengdu are ideal to spread the first-store concept because it is supported by well-developed high-speed railway networks. There are several cities connected to the city by one-hour high-speed train rides. The stores owned by global brands in Chengdu certainly can serve consumers living in surrounding cities," she said.
Ou believes that growing number of international premium brands not only offered Chengdu residents the chance to keep pace with overseas trends, but also improved the city's ability to attract more tourists, business opportunities and investment.
After rolling out its first consumer car in 2017, Chinese electric vehicle startup Nio Inc opened its first showroom in Chengdu late last year. It is the company's first showroom in the city, as well as the first in Southwest China.
The local popularity was the main reason behind the carmaker's store opening, and another reason is that the city is keen to have more brands to support its first-store economy campaign, said Liu Chengjun, head of services operation at Nio's regional office in Chengdu.
According to the Ministry of Commerce, a number of measures were piloted in 11 pedestrian zones across the country since 2018, including Chengdu's Chunxi Road, Beijing's Wangfujing Street and Shanghai's Nanjing Road. Annual visitor volume in these renewed pedestrian zones is estimated to exceed 1 billion.
"Chinese shoppers, in particular those born in the 1980s and 1990s, love living a comfortable life ... they like traveling, care about their individuality, and have different pursuits to match their lifestyle," said He Xiaoqing, global partner at A.T. Kearney, the US-based management counseling firm.
She said many of them in big cities are also proficient in using digital tools. With e-commerce platforms making shopping so convenient, many companies have invested in stores that push the boundaries of what is possible to meet local consumers' expectations.
Similar to the trend in big cities, the number of consumers from third-or lower-tier cities has also surged in the third quarter of this year, according to data released by market measurement and data analytics company Nielson in late November.
This can be partly due to urbanization, said the report, adding more people who lived in rural areas before have migrated to cities. In this way, more jobs will be filled and as the payroll increases, there will be more room for them to shop and buy.
China's consumption has continued its surge, and would remain the main driver of economic growth, the Ministry of Commerce said during a regular briefing in November.
The ministry estimated that the country's retail sales would climb 9 percent year-on-year in 2019, contributing some 65 percent to overall economic expansion.
(source: www.chinadaily.com.cn, December 09, 2019)
Oct 06
Chengdu a growing hub for international talent
The events include overseas tours, which are part of the Chengdu Tianfu Talent Recruitment Activities, a large-scale annual group recruitment drive sponsored by the Chengdu Hi-tech Industrial Development Zone's administrative committee and co-organized by the technology and human resources bureau at the zone and Chengdu Tianfu Software Park.
Since 2016, the overseas tours have covered Silicon Valley in the United States, Seoul in South Korea, Frankfurt in Germany and Toronto in Canada, among many other cities and regions. They have helped bring in more than 300 high-level professionals to Chengdu and established nine innovation and entrepreneurship centers for overseas professionals in the city.
Chengdu Tianfu Talent Recruitment Activities
A delegation made up of about 10 Chengdu companies, covering electronic information, the new economy and other sectors, will continue to take overseas tours in the second half of this year.
"As a crucial part of the global electronic information industrial landscape, the Chengdu high-tech zone is making efforts to create a world-class electronic information industrial ecosystem, and therefore, it has great demand for high-level information technology professionals," said a local official who is in charge of the zone's overseas recruitment.
This year's recruitment will focus on the electronic information sector, he added.
Wang Baoli, recruitment manager of Sichuan Changhong Electric, said that overseas tours provide ideal opportunities for local companies to seek high-level professionals.
The company has high demand for research and development professionals in the big data, artificial intelligence and software sectors, Wang said.
Wang added that as a regular to the annual overseas tours, Changhong has managed to hire the right employees from abroad. This year, the company plans to recruit some high-level R&D professionals for its AI, information safety and new energy material laboratories.
Chengdu Corntree Technology, a mobile game developer, also participated in overseas recruitment events before and employed data analysis professionals from the US. This year, the company said it hopes to recruit professionals for product operation and R&D departments.
Zhan Hong, administrative director of human resources at Corntree, said the company has attached great importance to this year's overseas recruitment event. In addition to regular recruitment, the company will hold meetings with their overseas peers to exchange insights.
During this year's overseas tours, the Chengdu high-tech zone will establish more innovation and entrepreneurship centers for overseas professionals to continue recommending and introducing overseas professionals and projects to the city and help foster startup projects abroad.
The centers are the zone's successful attempts to draw overseas professionals and allow the professionals to work in Chengdu and enjoy the city's human resource policies.
The Chengdu Tianfu Talent Recruitment Activities focus on attracting high-level experts from overseas, experienced professionals in other Chinese cities and fresh graduates. Under the campaign, some 100 recruitment activities are held a year on average, serving more than 200 companies and attracting more than 4,000 professionals to the zone.
As an important hub of innovation development in the new generation IT industry in western China and a main gathering area of innovation and entrepreneurship in the region, the zone has attracted many renowned companies and Fortune Global 500 companies, including US high-tech company IBM, German software and cloud giant SAP, and leading Chinese internet companies Alibaba and Tencent.
Chengdu Tianfu Software Park has an entrepreneur cultivation plan covering capital, professionals, market and training. It has cultivated many leading companies and brands, including online healthcare startup Medlinker, intelligent projector manufacturer Xgimi Technology and mobile app Cotoon.
To date, the park has developed several clusters of software services outsourcing, software product R&D, telecom technology, digital entertainment, mobile interconnectivity and sharing services. It has become a key part of strategic expansion plans in China for well-known software and information service companies from home and abroad.
Tianfu Software Park
The park has provided professional recruitment, training and consulting services for local companies for years. In addition to hosting overseas recruitment events, the park has set up workstations in Silicon Valley in the US and Cambridge in the United Kingdom this year, expanding its services abroad.
The Tianfu Software Park Silicon Valley Workstation, set up by Chengdu Tianfu Software Park and Changhong North America branch, was put into operation at the beginning of this year. The Cambridge one, established in cooperation with London-headquartered high-tech incubator Business Global Technology Accelerator, began operation in June.
The workstations provide services for companies and teams from the Chengdu high-tech zone working overseas for a short time, such as free offices and facilities, hotel reservations, airport pickups, overseas business consulting and customized services according to their needs.
An official from Tianfu Software Park said that in the future, local companies will partner with leading industrial players to build public technology and industrial incubation platforms, and online docking platforms between startup projects and global capital, in a bid to accelerate the construction of the zone into a national central development hub and international innovation center.
(source: www.chinadaily.com.cn, September 30, 2019)
Oct 05
Tianfu becoming growth hub in western China
Since the area was approved by the State Council in October 2014, local officials said the national new area has a mission to promote the country's economic development strategies, reform and opening-up.
They said the area is focusing on high-quality growth, contributing more to advancing major national initiatives, such as the Belt and Road Initiative, developing in the Yangtze River economic belt and internationally, and playing a leading role in Chengdu-Chongqing integrated development.
"Innovation is the first driving force for development," said an official with the bureau of strategic research in Chengdu Tianfu New Area. After much research and analysis, the bureau decided to embark on a new innovation-driven growth path, rather than following traditional industrial development models.
From the beginning, the local authorities chose high-end industries and projects as a focus for investment attraction. By making great efforts in research and innovation, Tianfu New Area aims to drive the development of its surrounding regions.
Tianfu New Area
The vision has come true over the past five years.
Among innovation facilities In Chengdu Tianfu New Area is the 125-square-kilometer Chengdu Science City.
Once a muddy bog, the complex has become an innovative entrepreneurship landmark where a large number of scientific research achievements have been rolled out.
The first 10 gigabits per second high-speed signal conditioning chip developed by a company in the Chinese mainland was born at Chengdu Science City on Aug 29, featuring a full range of intellectual property and independent design.
The chip developer is 3-year-old startup company Chengdu Yichong Semiconductor. Tang Qi, vice-president of the company, said what prompted him to stay in the area was its development prospects and the local government's support for and commitment to emerging industries and technological innovation.
The government built a laboratory for the company in just one month and provided support for its recruitment, which enabled the company to set up a team quickly. With its staff increased to 200 in three years, the company now has offices in Shenzhen, Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai and Tianjin. One of its research teams is based in Silicon Valley in the United States.
Now valued at more than 1 billion yuan ($140.26 million), the high-tech company has become one of the domestic wireless charging industry leaders. It was listed among top 60 gazelle companies in China for its high growth.
There are more than 5,000 tech companies in the Tianfu New Area.
Tianfu New Area
As a magnet to draw top innovation resources and professionals, the area has attracted 11 national-level innovation platforms, such as the advanced microprocessor national engineering laboratory of Dawning Information Industry, and 30 coordinated innovation projects with universities, including Tsinghua University, Peking University, the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Shanghai Jiao Tong University.
In 2016, Tsinghua University partnered with the Tianfu New Area to establish the Tsinghua Sichuan Energy Internet Research Institute, which focuses on advanced research on energy internet, a new type of electric energy-based and renewable energy-led eco-energy system with synergies among a variety of energy sources.
After three years of development, the institute has attracted 31 high-end R&D teams, developed 27 core technologies, designed 64 innovative products and applied for 207 patents, as well as fostered 10 energy internet companies.
"It turned out that we made the right decision to come here because of the Tianfu New Area's development potential and vision," said Lyu Lanchun, head of the general office at the institute.
To date, the institute has 244 employees, including 35 overseas returnees from world-renowned universities, such as Cambridge, Harvard and Princeton.
Over the past five years, the area's GDP saw an average annual double-digit growth, and its economic aggregate ranks fifth among 19 national-level new areas across the country.
"The Tianfu New Area has become a 'shining pearl' among the 19 national-level new areas and attracts other new areas to observe and study," an official with the Tianfu New Area said.
The area will focus on aerospace, nuclear energy and technology, medicine, information security, astronomy and other major sectors to build an innovation-friendly ecosystem, from fundamental research, frontier technologies and industrialization of innovations to high-tech services, according to the local government.
(source: www.chinadaily.com.cn, September 30, 2019)
Jun 26
Rome-Chengdu direct flight inaugurated at Fiumicino airport
A new direct flight linking the Italian capital Rome with Chengdu, capital of southwest China's Sichuan province, was inaugurated June 25 at Rome's Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci Airport with an official ceremony.
The flight will be operated by an Airbus A330 three times a week on every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, taking off from Rome at 1:25 p.m. and landing in Chengdu the next day at 5:50 a.m., taking about 11 hours a trip.
The Rome-Chengdu direct route is the first of its kind between the two cities and marks Sichuan Airlines' very first entry into the Italian market as well as in the Mediterranean area, according to the Chinese airliner.
The opening of this new route "is another result of the signing of the MoU on the Belt and Road that the Italian government wanted also in terms of the increase of the flow of Chinese tourists to Italy," said Prof. Michele Geraci, Undersecretary to the Italian Ministry of Economic Development and head of Italian government's Task Force China, while attending the ceremony.
"The start of the flight is in keeping with the signing of the MoU in cooperation with the province of Sichuan, which I signed in Chengdu last September, precisely to strengthen relations with this important area of southwest China," he said.
Speaking in Mandarin, the Italian undersecretary also lauded the city of Chengdu, the first city where he worked in China, also said that it boasts an exquisite local cuisine.
According to Wang Lihang, general manager of Sichuan Airlines Italy office, Rome is the fourth destination served by Sichuan Airlines and is one of the most popular destinations for Chinese tourists.
"We are proud to celebrate the start of this important connection, which is the result of concentrated efforts of the Company as part of its internationalization strategy," said Wang Lihang.
"Rome and Chengdu are very popular touristic destinations for both Italians and Chinese. The new link brings the Chinese destination connected to Rome Fiumicino airport to a total of 12, reaffirming Rome as China's main gateway to Europe," said Fausto Palombelli, Chief Commercial Officer of Aeroporti di Roma (ADR), the company that runs the airport.
"Covering Chengdu allows us to cover Sichuan province. On the one hand, we expect a big number of business trips due to the presence of Italian industries in the area and its proximity to Chongqing, another important business destination. On the other hand, we also expect a big number of tourism trips given the beautiful natural landscapes of the province, which can really surprise Italian visitors," explained Palombelli in a recent interview with Xinhua.
The move is part of Fiumicino Airport's broader China-oriented policy, which features Chinese-language signs and information; Mandarin-skilled personal shoppers, the launch of an official account on China's popular digital platform WeChat and the availability of payment methods popular in China, such as WeChat Pay, UnionPay, and Alipay, highlighted Palombelli.
Geraci said that the use of new technologies is very important to increase tourists spending, especially electronic payment methods, encouraging every Italian enterprise to use them in order to be competitive also on the Chinese tourism market.
Italy is among Chinese tourists' top destinations, expecting 1 million more Chinese tourists in 2019 compared to the previous year, while Rome alone attracts more than 30 million tourists every year, around 1 out of 20 being Chinese, according to data from the city's tourism office.
(source: Xinhuanet, June 26, 2019)
Apr 16
6 Chinese cities among world's top 30 in tech
Six Chinese cities made it into the list of the top 30 tech cities worldwide compiled by international real estate adviser Savills, and they account for a higher share of venture capital investment than their US counterparts. The list — led by New York, San Francisco and London — ranked the Chinese cities of Shanghai in 15th place, Beijing in 17th, Hong Kong in 20th, Shenzhen in 24th, Hangzhou in 25th, and Chengdu in 26th.
As important centers of technology within their regions, the cities on the list are assessed by 100 metrics, ranging from the number of days needed to start a business to the cost of a flat white coffee. The metrics are grouped into six categories, namely business environment, technology environment, city buzz and wellness, talent pool, real estate costs and mobility.
Chengdu top tech cities worldwide
Chinese cities have emerged as leaders in shared mobility services, although the overall mobility ranking puts London first on the list. Shanghai leads Chinese cities as a more global technology city, thanks to an international business environment and better of quality of life for residents. Chengdu's technology economy has soared on outsourcing, with its government being pro-business and technology investments rising.
Tapping into a vast, internet-enabled domestic market, Chinese technology giants have moved up fast and, thanks to integrated payment systems, revolutionized the way business is conducted in the country, says the report, which notes that China is also a global leader in artificial intelligence technology. Already established as a center of technology manufacturing, China sees its homegrown hardware firms making global moves.
Mar 20
Spotlight: Chengdu, Austin -- cities of China, U.S. bonding over pursuit of innovation
Aside from the fact that they are both located in the southwest of their respective countries and have nurtured people fond of spicy food, the two cities, perhaps surprising to many, share a zeal for innovation.
Chengdu and Austin are now seriously considering teaming up to tap opportunities that are already there or wait to be created while working toward the establishment of a formal relationship.
"The cities of Austin and Chengdu have so much in common," Steve Adler, mayor of Austin, U.S. state of Texas, said at an event promoting Chengdu.
"Chengdu is a very fast growing city in China, and Austin of Texas is the fastest growing metropolitan area in the United States. Chengdu is a city full of innovation and high technology, a city that is really growing, as is Austin," Adler said.
Austin is home to 46 incubators and has attracted a great many tech companies, including Apple, Samsung, IBM and Amazon, said David Colligan, manager of Global Business Expansion at the City of Austin Economic Development Department.
Chengdu, at the same time, is striving to build itself into a "city of innovation," with a goal of increasing the added value of cultural and creative industries to 180 billion yuan (26.8 billion U.S. dollars), or about 10 percent of the city's GDP, according to Zhang Yingming, deputy director of the Publicity Department of the Chengdu Municipal Committee of the Communist Party of China.
Hailing Austin and Chengdu as "forward-looking cities," and "cities that are technology and innovation centers," Adler saw ample possibilities for an upgrade of their relations.
"Conversations and meetings like this will lead to science city, friendship city kinds of relationship. That is in our future. I think there are going to be lots of different kinds of relationships," he said.
By strengthening the ties between the two innovation-driven cities, a win-win scenario will be created, Chinese Consul General in Houston Li Qiangmin said at the promotion event.
The event was held on the sidelines of the 10-day South by Southwest (SXSW) Conference and Festivals, a platform that gathers innovators and entrepreneurs from across the globe to breed and fund novel ideas.
A Chinese delegation of more than 100 people, twice the size of that last year, showed up at SXSW 2019 that opened on March 8, comprising those from Chengdu and companies like China's e-commerce giant Alibaba Group.
We came to "inspire others and get inspired by others," said Shanying Leung, design director of Alibaba's online payment platform Alipay.
"The delegations from China are a very significant part of what makes SXSW very special, and the delegation from Chengdu is the largest ever we've received from a Chinese city," the Austin mayor said.
"Chinese delegations are now creating quite a storm, quite an excitement just because of the size of the delegations," he added.
(source: Xinhuanet, March 10, 2019)
Mar 19
Cameron likes Chengdu hotpots
British Prime Minister David Cameron enjoys eating hotpot filled with meatballs and vegetables, Sichuan media Newssc.org reported. Cameron arrived in Chengdu, capital city of Sichuan province on Wednesday, and visited a hotpot restaurant.
The waitress who served Cameron's table said Cameron only ate the food cooked in the spicy hotpot, and he liked meatballs served with coriander.
Feb 02
City ready to host foreign tourists after overseas showcase
Chengdu, the capital city of Southwest China's Sichuan province, is among the country's top destinations during Spring Festival, which will be celebrated from Feb 4-19. Local attractions include pandas, delicious cuisine, beautiful scenery and a variety of cultural traditions.
A promotional event in Athens, capital of Greece, on Jan 22, marked the beginning of Chengdu's overseas marketing campaign.
With the support of the Chinese embassy in Greece, this was the first time that Chengdu hosted a city-marketing event in a Greek city.
the pictures from the official WeChat account "国际蓉" of the Chengdu Municipal Foreign and Overseas Chinese Affairs Office
More than 100 representatives from the Greek government as well as local businesses and media attended.
Xu Yabin, deputy general manager of Chengdu Culture and Tourism Group, the corporate organizer for the event, introduced Chengdu's tourism resources to guests through pictures, videos and product displays.
Chengdu's food, intangible cultural heritage and landscapes were the highlights exhibited at the venue.
Visitors were treated to Sichuan Opera, paper-cutting, sugar painting, bamboo craft and a tea ceremony.
A Greek lawyer named Daphne was one of the visitors. She said she had been working for a law firm in Shanghai for several years.
"I had served a number of clients from Chengdu when I was in the law firm," said Daphne, adding that she hopes her firm will open operations in Chengdu.
A representative from a local meat products company, whose surname is Athanasiu, said he is considering a research trip to Chengdu.
Miu Bin, from Chengdu, who is studying drama at a university in Athens, said he plans to introduce Greek dramas to Chengdu after graduation, to contribute to the cultural exchange between the two ancient cities.
In the evening that day, the Chinese embassy in Athens held a reception to treat guests to genuine Chengdu dishes.
During the event, the governments of Chengdu and Athens signed an agreement of friendly partnership.
Chengdu will hold more Spring Festival-themed activities in Greece, with the aim to improve awareness of Chengdu's food, culture and tourist attractions among local residents.
Days after the Greek event, Chengdu kicked off a promotional campaign in Germany.
The event, called "Happy Spring Festival and Happy Trip of Chengdu", was opened at the Chinese Culture Center in Berlin on Jan 25 with shows of Chengdu dishes, handicrafts and Sichuan Opera.
the pictures from the official WeChat account "国际蓉" of the Chengdu Municipal Foreign and Overseas Chinese Affairs Office
A photographic exhibition featuring Chengdu's landscapes, people and arts is an important part of the event, which will last to Feb 28.
A show of Chengdu's food was also held at Potsdamer Platz, in central Berlin. The show was a carnival for the locals as they experienced the joyful atmosphere of Chinese New Year by tasting Chengdu food and watching cultural and arts shows.
A German tourism magazine publisher, whose surname is Hertus, said he is familiar with the term of Chinese New Year.
"I knew Spring Festival is a big day for the Chinese people," he said, "but it is from the shows of Chengdu's paper-cutting, sugar painting and Sichuan Opera arts, I got to understand the cultural connotations of the festival."
A young German man named Patrick said the shows of Chinese paper-cutting and sugar painting were almost "legendary" for him. At the event, he had a video chat with his mother, whom he said is an enthusiast of Chinese culture, and showed her the performances at Potsdamer Platz.
During the chat, Patrick and his mother said they hope to have a trip to Chengdu during next year's Spring Festival.
Chengdu's officials, who were in charge of the campaigns in Greece and Germany, said the events are meant to attract investors, as well.
"The events are ideal platforms to tell the stories of Chengdu and improve its recognition in the world," said an official from the Chengdu city government.
Jan 23
American community director assistant helps foreigners settle in Chengdu
Public-spirited O'Connell was named a community director assistant of Tongzilin Community about three months after he settled in the community, where he now lives alongside 4,300 foreigners from over 30 countries and regions including the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, and Japan.
As a community director assistant, O'Connell's primary role is to help foreigners solve problems they come up against in everyday life, like how to take a bus or use apps such as WeChat and Alipay. Furthermore, O'Connell also explains Chinese law to foreigners in the community, to help them adapt to life in China as quickly as possible.
People can call him anytime, whether they need to find a new apartment, find a school for their children, or figure out legal issues, said O'Connell.
Keen on causes for the public good, O'Connell voluntarily donates blood every month, picks up litter, and actively takes part in various public benefit activities in his spare time. He explained that as this city has given him so much, he wants to repay it in his own way.
"We often see him taking part in public benefit activities," said Zhang Jiarong, secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Tongzilin Community Committee, noting that warm-hearted O'Connell has deeply impressed people in the community, and that his interest in volunteering was an important factor in naming him a community director assistant.
Since O'Connell currently doesn't know Chinese, he asks his Chinese friends to translate for him. Now, he says that he is trying hard to learn the language, and hopes to master it as soon as possible.
According to Chengdu Economic Daily, O'Connell and his wife came to Chengdu in August 2016, at which point Chengdu was meant to be their first stop on a tour of the whole country. However, the couple fell in love with the city, and quickly decided to settle in Tongzilin Community.
O'Connell found a part-time job not long after they settled in Chengdu, teaching English at an international school, while his wife became a physics teacher in another international school.
"Chengdu is as modern as New York, and it is a pleasant city to live in just like where I'm from in California. More importantly, the people here are very friendly and generous," said O'Connell, adding that instead of seeing the city as tourists, they wanted to enjoy real Chengdu life.
(source: en.people.cn, January 11, 2019)
Dec 22
Transport network transforms Chengdu
Air routes and an advanced international railway network have transformed Chengdu ― in landlocked Sichuan province ― in major ways since China's reform and opening-up policies were introduced in the late 1970s.
Now the city can align growth closely with the outside world thanks to the extensive transportation network.
Every student of Chinese literature knows the famous line from Li Bai, a great poet in the Tang Dynasty (618-907): "Traveling in Sichuan is as difficult as mounting to the sky." That line would remind many Chinese people of Sichuan's deplorable inaccessibility.
"Forty years ago, Sichuan didn't have a single international air route. There was only a daily flight from Chengdu to Beijing. It took a day and two nights to get there on the fastest train at that time," said Shen Zaiwang, a senior official with Sichuan People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries.
With the opening of the Xi'an-Chengdu Bullet Train a year ago, the trip takes only 10 hours.
Known for its silk products in ancient times, Chengdu was a major source of cargo on the Silk Road, starting from Xi'an, Shaanxi province, some 700 kilometers away.
Now, Chengdu not only has bullet trains linking to parts of China but also boasts trains linking to Europe.
Last month, a freight train starting in Bremerhaven, Germany, arrived at the Chengdu International Railway Port in the first test of the China-EU Express Railway (Chengdu). It increased the number of overseas departure terminals to 22.
The express railway, a direct line for freight that was launched in 2013 to connect Chengdu to Europe, has eliminated the geographic disadvantages of Chengdu as a landlocked city and transformed the city into an important logistics hub and economic exchange center between Europe and western China.
Chengdu has sent 2,597 freight trains to Europe in the past five years, 25 percent of China's total.
"With the increasing global influence of the China-EU Express Railway (Chengdu), a growing number of multinational companies are establishing a presence here," said Zhang Tianyi, deputy director of the management committee of the city's railway port.
Italy, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Israel and Moldova have located their national commodity pavilions at the port.
A similar story has played out in the air. As the largest aviation hub in central and western China, Chengdu currently has 112 international air routes that enable it to expand cooperation and exchanges with the outside, while boosting domestic investment.
It is home to 285 Fortune Global 500 companies and 17 foreign consulates, the largest numbers among cities in central and western China.
Since its debut in Chengdu ― as part of the China (Sichuan) Pilot Free Trade Zone in early 2017 ― the southwest operation center of dhgate.com said it has seen a 300 percent increase in business volume and a drop of around 30 percent in its logistics cost in the past 18 months.
The company helps small and medium-sized enterprises in Sichuan sell their commodities in some 130 countries and regions.
Its general manager, Zhu Rong, said the growth is largely due to the facility's proximity to Shuangliu International Airport in Chengdu.
Du Jinyou, head of Chengdu's logistics office, said the city will accelerate the pace of setting up seven international railway channels, along with five channels that combine sea and rail transportation, in a bid to become the hub of the new Eurasian land bridge linking the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.
Chengdu's global air network will include business routes covering 48 core aviation hubs and economic centers; cargo-only routes directly linking with 14 key logistics cities, including Frankfurt, Chicago and Amsterdam; and another 30 high-quality routes serving the demand for tourism and culture, he said.
(source: www.chinadaily.com.cn, December 21, 2018)