FRANKFURT, March 28 -- The "New Silk Road" railway linking China with Germany has tightened the economic and cultural bonds between the two countries, the chief executive officer (CEO) of Duisport Group said.
Erich Staake, also president of the inland port company in the western German city of Duisburg, said in a recent interview with Xinhua ahead of Chinese President Xi Jinping's state visit to Germany, which begins on Friday.
The "New Silk Road," also known as Yu New Europe railway, has become the most important trading route in the world, as it provides a direct link between China's southwestern Chongqing Municipality, and Duisburg, where goods are distributed throughout Europe, he said.
Countries along the road are emerging markets which are going to be more important, he added. The cargo route passes through Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus and Poland.
Duisburg is right at the heart of Europe, through which major transport corridors pass. The Yu New Europe railway cuts the five-week shipping time of the past to only about two weeks
Staake called it a "wonderful development" that the cargo transportation service had been extended from one departure per week to three. "That's a big advantage," Staake said, adding that it should be perceived in a historical context.
"The more intensive the trading relations between countries are, the better it is for overall understanding between nations," he said.
Staake said Duisburg was trying to market the railway transportation to its clients who are producing both in China and Germany.
With regard to the trade relations between Germany and China, Staake forecast China would become the largest trading partner of Germany within five years, saying the big trading partners of Germany such as France and the United States do not have a strong growth potential, while China, on the other hand, has a huge market.
Although it is difficult for China to maintain a double-digit economic growth, the rate would remain at relatively high levels compared with those in other emerging markets, Staake said.