China-Finland cargo railway opens

Added On November 12, 2017

With more than 40 containers on it, the cargo train bound for Chinese inland city of Xi'an departed Kouvola in southeastern Finland on Friday.
It will take 17 days to run 9,000 km to cross the Eurasia continent, passing through countries including Russia and Kazakhstan, before reaching its final destination of the northwest China's Xi'an.
Compared with the normal sea freight, the cargo rail line can shorten the travel time by 30 days.
Goods packed in the containers are all made in Finland, ranging from machinery, timber, workwear to ship components.
SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH): ANTTI HAKKANEN, Finnish Justice minister 
"I am convinced that this new silk road between Finland and China will prosper and flourish. The railway connection is environmentally friendly, fast and economically very competitive to the business."
As planned, a total of five trains would run between Kouvola and Xi'an by the end of this year. 
At the same time, a train would depart Xi'an towards Kouvola every week. 
SOUNDBITE(CHINESE) CHEN LI, Chinese Ambassador to Finland 
"We are very pleasantly surprised to see that through such a railway route, we have achieved the communication among the four countries, which are China, Finland, Kazakhstan and Russia, the connectivity in facilities, the smooth flow of trade activities, the financial integration as well as the commonalities among the people. In other words, this is indeed a practical and fruitful cooperation."
Ambassador of Kazakhstan to Finland reminded the achievements of the Belt and Road Initiative.
SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) MURAT NURTLEUOV, Kazakhstan Ambassador to Finland
"In long term perspective, it should be a plus platform, aiming at bringing many nations together, expanding cultural exchanges as well as making solid our educational, scientific and technological ties."