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Trade hub will open up Europe for companies

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-11-28 08:19

A worker in the logistics park at Csepel Port in Hungary transports goods using a forklift.[Photo by Yang Yongqian/Xinhua]

BUDAPEST-A trade hub established by a Chinese enterprise in Hungary has been acting as a "matchmaker" between domestic and European businesses.

Now, it is poised to further facilitate bilateral trade cooperation as the Belt and Road Initiative continues to unfold, said Wu Jiang, the company's CEO.

The hub, formally known as the Central European Trade and Logistics Cooperation Zone, comprises an exhibition center in Budapest, and two logistic parks respectively in Csepel Port in Hungary and Bremen Port in Germany, according to Wu.

The Chinese businessman, with more than 20 years of experience in commerce and logistics in Hungary, said his motive to start the trade service company was to help Chinese enterprises find competent local partners when exploring new markets in Europe.

"I have noticed that many Chinese enterprises, often unfamiliar with local languages and laws, spent most of their energy dealing with accountants, lawyers and government agencies when they came here, with only limited time spent on expanding actual business," Wu said.

"They could stay for only a year or two, without achieving much of a breakthrough in business and had to call off their endeavor," Wu added.

He said his exhibition center in Budapest as a bridge linking Chinese enterprises with local partners.

Activities at the center, such as exhibitions and bushiness presentations, allow the two sides to find suitable partners in a more efficient way, he said.

Meanwhile, the logistics park in Csepel Port provides services such as cargo distribution, customs clearance and warehousing, among others, according to Wu.

In the past, the goods used to flow from the major ports of northwestern Europe such as Hamburg, Bremen and Rotterdam, he noted.

With the Chinese Railway Express cargo trains and China-Europe land-sea express coming into operation, the trend is that the goods go from the southeast to the northwest, Wu added.

The Belt and Road Initiative has brought tangible benefits for businesses in Hungary.

"The logistics volume in the park and the whole country has grown very rapidly this year. Our truck fleet is running at its maximum capacity and we have to rent trucks to cope with the trade flow," he said.

The Logistics Park also serves the Chinese Railway Express cargo trains.

"Since the start of freight service of Hunan-Europe freight trains from Changsha in Hunan province to Budapest in June this year, every train is full," he said.

The logistics park plans to send a cargo train from Budapest to Changsha on Nov 27.

It is also planning a "Rainbow Line" route with China's shipping giant COSCO Holdings Co Ltd.

The line will start from China's eastern coastal city of Ningbo via Shenzhen in South China to Piraeus port in Greece by ship and from there all the way to Budapest by rail.

Wu said that against the backdrop of the Belt and Road Initiative, the Central European Trade and Logistics Cooperation Zone will surely thrive and play a greater role in helping Chinese enterprises go global.

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