Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region is seeing increasing foreign trade in tandem with surging China-Europe freight train trips, the construction and development of land ports and comprehensive bonded zones.
The region posted over 67.4 billion yuan (about 10 billion U.S. dollars) in foreign trade in the first five months of this year, up 30.9 percent year on year.
The Customs of Urumqi, the region's capital, said that from January to May, the region had trade with 157 countries and regions.
Since the beginning of this year, the number of China-Europe freight train routes via Xinjiang's Alashankou port has reached 80, departing from 24 provincial-level regions in China for 13 countries, including Germany, Russia and Hungary.
Xinjiang boasts two of the country's four major ports for China-Europe freight train services.
In 2011, the Alashankou port saw the first such train bound for Duisburg of Germany. Five years later, the Horgos port welcomed its first China-Europe freight train.
Since the opening of the China-Europe and China-Central Asia freight train services, the Horgos and Alashankou ports recorded more than 50,000 China-Europe freight train trips. In 2021, China-Europe freight trains transported 1.46 million TEUs of goods worth 74.9 billion U.S. dollars, accounting for 8 percent of the total trade between China and Europe, according to the China Railway Urumqi Bureau Group Co., Ltd.
Xinjiang hosts four comprehensive bonded areas in Kashgar, Alashankou, Horgos and Urumqi.
From January to April, the import and export volume of the four bonded areas totaled 9.5 billion yuan, accounting for 18.3 percent of Xinjiang's total foreign trade in the period, the Urumqi Customs said.
Although some enterprises faced the pressure of shortage of raw materials and reduction of orders in the early stage of the epidemic, local authorities have helped them resume and improve production.
"Now the customs clearance speed is very fast, and enterprises are receiving more and more orders. In the first four months of this year, our trade volume was close to 100 million yuan," said Tursunay Gheni, head of a technology-related trade enterprise in the Kashgar comprehensive bonded zone.