Meter-gage railway facilitates Sino-Vietnam trade amid COVID-19

KUNMING, Dec. 22 (Xinhua) — Freight trains on a meter-gage railway line connecting southwest China’s Yunnan Province and Vietnam have made 1,558 trips this year, transporting 553,000 tonnes of cargo despite a brief suspension at the beginning of the year due to the novel coronavirus outbreak.

The trains have shipped 306,000 tonnes of goods from Vietnam to China, while a total of 247,000 tonnes of cargo have been exported to Vietnam, helping rebound the total trade volume of the cargo route to 90 percent of the same period last year.

Train service on the line was once disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic and resumed in late February, according to China Railway Kunming Group Co., Ltd.

The railway and customs departments have cut the frequency of trains for safety concerns, but in the meantime, they have increased loading efficiency and introduced paperless customs clearance to facilitate the smooth operation of bilateral trade.

The railway line was initially launched in 1910 and has been in use for passenger services and occasionally freight for more than a century.

The new cargo service began operation on the meter-gage railway line connecting Kaiyuan in Yunnan and Haiphong, Vietnam in December 2017 to transport fertilizer, fishmeal, yellow phosphorus, and iron ore products between China and Southeast Asian countries.

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