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Pak-China start direct rail and freight service

China and Pakistan on Thursday launched a direct rail and sea freight service with the first cargo train departing from China’s southwestern Yunnan province. The service was launched with the first cargo train loaded with 500 tonnes of commodities that left Kunming, capital of Yunnan in China, for Karachi, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

“China, Pakistan launch direct rail & sea freight service between Kunming and Karachi, cutting transport cost by over 50 per cent,” according to a tweet by the news agency.

The service is a part of China’s Maritime Silk Road initiative, of which $46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project (CPEC) is a part. The CPEC was launched in 2015 to link northwestern China with the Gwadar port in southern Pakistan.

The two countries started trade activities under CPEC in October as over a hundred Chinese containers were transported overland to Gwadar and shipped to Europe and Africa.

Meanwhile, the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry have welcomed the new direct rail and sea freight service and said it will boost trade between the two countries. He said the route will enable Pakistani businessmen and traders to increase trade with China in a more convenient and faster way.
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