Down­the­line

China’s mu­tu­ally ben­e­fi­cial Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive build­ing in­fra­struc­tures to help eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment and peo­ple-to-peo­ple ex­changes

ChinAfrica - - Cover Story - By hou Weili

Jin Hai­jun, a trader spe­cial­iz­ing in im­port­ing Span­ish wines, is a happy man. The rea­son for his raised spir­its lies in a rail­way line that now links the Span­ish cap­i­tal of Madrid to his home­town of Yiwu City in east China’s Zhe­jiang Prov­ince. The cargo line makes it pos­si­ble to in­crease his an­nual im­ports to 1.5 mil­lion bot­tles.

“With the freight train run­ning, my busi­ness is more com­pet­i­tive as the cost of im­port­ing wines de­creased by 20 per­cent and the de­liv­ery can be done in a shorter time,” said Jin. He ex­plained the wines were pre­vi­ously im­ported by sea as air freight is too ex­pen­sive. Due to pro­longed move­ment of bot­tles at sea, wines had to be kept still for two to six months be­fore sell­ing so that the fla­vor would not be com­pro­mised.

“Short­en­ing the de­liv­ery pe­riod greatly re­lieves the stress on my com­pany’s cash flow,” he added.

The cargo line help­ing Jin’s busi­ness is one of the am­bi­tious projects fos­tered by China’s Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive. It runs from Yiwu west­ward to Xin­jiang Uygur

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