The first freight train travelling from China to Latvia on the first regular direct freight route between the Asian superpower and Europe arrived at its destination on 5 November and will boost China’s imports and exports to the continent.
Global Construction Review revealed that the service will be run by China Railway Express, a company established specifically to operate direct freight services between the east and west of the nation.
Latvia’s Minister of Transport Uldis Augulis told the news provider that the decision to work in partnership with the Chinese makes Latvia the gateway to Europe.
“Every success story begins with an idea to try. China and Latvia made a decision to try something unprecedented and now it has been realised,” he enthused.
The first cargo to arrive at Riga’s central station took 17 days to travel the 11,000 miles from its point of origin in the city of Yiwu, which is located south of Shanghai. The containers that arrived on this first train contained commemorative souvenirs and decorative items, which will now be distributed in Germany, Poland and Scandinavia.
China is looking at ways to grow its exports to Europe, and earlier this month reached an agreement with the UK on operating an unlimited number of cargo flights between the two countries.
The UK’s aviation minister claimed that following the country’s vote to leave the EU it was important to build strong ties with economies elsewhere in the world. The aim is to increase the UK’s exports to China, as well as to boost tourism in both countries.