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China's ancient capital is a growing hub for trade

23 Nov 2017 9:54 AM | Anonymous

Xi'an, the starting point of the ancient Silk Road, is home to a nearly seven-year-old railway container center that facilitates transport of oilseeds grown in Kazakhstan to be processed by Chinese company Aiju, before being sold back to Kazakhstan.

The Kazakh government announced on July 11 an agreement to cooperate on trade in grain and oilseeds with Aiju.

Flour exports from Kazakhstan to China increased eight times from 2014 to 2016, the USDA said in April.

China is growing its ties with Kazakhstan as the "Belt and Road" program gets underway.

A prime example is the nearly seven-year-old railway container center in China's ancient capital city of Xi'an that links the world's second-largest economy to the Central Asia country.

Kazakhstan is the so-called inland port's biggest market, followed by Amsterdam, said Jie Gai, project manager in marketing for Xi'an International Inland Port Multimodal Transportation.

The Xi'an Railway Container Freight Station in the Xi’an International Trade and Logistics Park opened in 2010 and covers 68.3 hectares.

Xi'an is also home to the terracotta warriors and the starting point of the historic Silk Road over which merchants once traveled to bring goods between China and Europe. Now China, under President Xi Jinping, is trying to reopen that channel of commerce through the Belt and Road initiative (also known as "One Belt, One Road"). A string of projects, typically led by corporations using funding from China and other countries, seeks to build up infrastructure in the surrounding regions.

China also hopes to benefit economically from improved growth in the region. In November 2014, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev announced a domestic stimulus program called "Nurly Zhol" (Bright Path) which called for $9 billion in state and foreign direct investment into infrastructure and industries such as agribusiness and information technology, in an effort to move the economy away from the oil industry.

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