China has launched a new Beijing to London freight train route, further expanding its trade and investment ties with the UK and offering a decidedly cheaper alternative to air freight.
The service, which will take two weeks to complete its 12,000 km journey, faster than the current sea freight option, will traverse from Yiwu, in China’s coastal Zhejiang province, across Asia and Europe, before entering the UK via the Channel Tunnel and terminating in Barking, London.
Speaking about the new service, Matthew Grandage, associate for China affairs at Chamber International, says: “Rail’s green credentials, security and low costs are attractive, and China’s demand for quality Western goods is growing – a great opportunity for UK business.
“From the point of view of those who export to or source materials from China, the new route from Barking to Yiwu offers a great alternative for high value shipments, as well as a healthy challenge to other freight service providers.”
In an article published in Forbes this week (1) Wade Shepard comments: "The re-creation of this ancient trade network has become one of the biggest infrastructural, economic, and political developments happening in the world. The countries of the Eurasian landmass, from the east of China to the west of Europe are gradually being pulled together into a contiguous market covering 60 countries, and 60 per cent of the population, 75 per cent of the energy resources, and 60 per cent of the GDP in the world. It has been estimated that within ten years trade throughout this region could top $2.2 trillion annually."
Mr Shepard adds: "With the UK’s future position with the EU looking uncertain due to Brexit, a potentially new paradigm for the island nation’s international relations is gradually revealing itself. And right on cue, China was at their doorstep."
In November, speaking ahead of a key meeting between Chancellor Philip Hammond and China’s Vice Premier Ma Kai to discuss the next steps for economic and trade relations between the UK and China, Prime Minister Theresa May said: “I’m determined that as we leave the European Union, we build a truly global Britain that is open for business.
“As we take the next step in this golden era of relations between the UK and China, I am excited about the opportunities for expanding trade and investment between our two countries.”
Beavis Morgan – Advisers to Chinese investors in the UK
The new rail service further secures the UK’s position as a key destination of choice for Chinese businesses and adds strength to Britain’s Anglo-Chinese relations.
Through our joint venture with Anglo Sino Consultancy LLP, Beavis Morgan is able to identify business opportunities for Chinese investors looking to enter the UK market. We are also able to provide a comprehensive range of professional services to help you make the most of your investment in the UK.