Chinese consumers buy imported goods in Chongqing. (Photo/Xinhua)
For Li Lin in central China’s Henan province, shopping for the upcoming Spring Festival is different from previous years. This year, he bought foreign products such as French wine, Belgian chocolates, Australian olive oil and beef for Spring Festival.
“Before, imported goods were beyond my reach, but now they are available at shops almost everywhere in my city,” Li said.
The shopping center where Li went for his New Year goodies sells more than 100,000 different products from 70 countries including Russia, Germany, Italy, France and Japan. Many of the products were transported by China-Europe freight trains.
Yang Hua, head of a train station in Zhengzhou with the China Railway Zhengzhou Group, said the central Chinese city is now connected with 126 cities in 24 countries through the cargo lines, adding that a variety of cost-efficient commodities are now available in his city.
China-Europe freight trains also deliver Chinese goods to overseas Chinese people all over the world.
Recently, a cargo train carrying Spring Festival goods passed customs at Erlianhaote port, heading to Madrid to meet the demand for local specialties from overseas Chinese.
In 2018, the Erlianhaote port handled 13.14 million tonnes of imports and exports. A record number of 1,071 China-Europe cargo trains passed through the port, according to an employee of the China Railway Hohhot Group, which manages the Erlianhaote port.
According to the National Development and Reform Commission, by the end of 2018, a total of 13,000 China-Europe freight trains had completed journeys in 49 cities across 15 foreign countries.