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China-Europe rail freight traffic through Belarus up twofold in 2017

Economy 14.12.2017 | 18:06
An archive photo
An archive photo

MOSCOW, 14 December (BelTA) – Rail freight traffic from China to Europe through Belarus rose twofold in 2017, head of the Belarusian Railways Vladimir Morozov told the media during the roundtable discussion “Belarus' transit potential for Russia's foreign trade shipments” in Moscow on 14 December, BelTA learned from the press service of the Belarusian Embassy in Russia.

Over 3,000 China-Europe trains passed through Belarus in 2017 to date, Vladimir Morozov pointed out. The rail freight traffic bound for Europe is expected to remain in an uptrend in 2018, too.

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Vladimir Morozov stressed the importance of Russia's transit through Belarus for the Belarusian Railways: Russian cargoes account for 87% of the total volume of rail freight traffic. Transit traffic went up by a quarter in 2017 from last year, primarily thanks to economic growth in Russia and Belarus.

Transit is extremely important for Belarus due to the role of transport for the country's economy, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Belarus to Russia Igor Petrishenko said. The share of the transport sector in Belarus' GDP is around 6%. Transport services intensify domestic and foreign trade. They account for about 50% of Belarus' exports. According to the logistics system and transit potential development program for 2016-2020, revenues from transit are projected to reach $1.5 billion by 2020.

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“As a EAEU member state located at the junction of roads to the Baltic Sea and the Black Sea, between such big economic players as China and the EU, Belarus seeks participation in large international infrastructure projects. We supported the Silk Road Economic Belt initiative and became a hub of this project. Belarus also has an interest in boosting freight traffic from Europe to Asia-Pacific countries, and vice versa,” Igor Petrishenko remarked.

With these goals in mind, the country has been taking consistent measures to set up transport and logistics centers, build and develop terminals and premises with a wide range of customs and additional services. Belarus has simplified the customs clearance procedure for goods carried by rail, the ambassador recalled.

During the roundtable discussion, specialists of the Belarusian Railways and representatives of freight companies spoke about the main fields of rail transport development in 2017. The participants learned more about the technical, technological, and logistics capacities of the Belarusian Railways on the market of transportation services and the company's strategy to implement tariff policy and attract transit flows.

The event has drawn together various officials of organizations affiliated with the Belarusian Railways, representatives of Russian cargo carriers and recipients, forwarders, and rolling stock operating companies.

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