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China and Pakistan today 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 left Kunming, capital of Yunnan, an inland province in southwest China departed 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 USD 46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project (CPEC) is a part. The CPEC was launched in 2015 to link up northwestern China with the Gwadar deep seaport in southern Pakistan. The two countries already started the 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 opening of the new direct rail and sea freight service and said it will boost trade between the two countries. He said that the route will enable Pakistani businessmen and traders to increase trade with China in a more convenient and faster way. "It will also help China connect with the world market". The service will cut logistics cost, including that of transport, by 50 per cent. Pakistan and China kicked off first trade activities under CPEC in October as over a hundred Chinese containers arrived at the Sust port in Hunza, following clearance from Pakistani customs.
The containers were headed to Gwadar.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)