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Home >> Business
UPDATED: 08:32, June 22, 2006
Qinghai-Tibet Railway to boost boarder trade in Tibet
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The Qinghai-Tibet railway which will undergo trial operations on July 1 will not only link Tibet with other parts of China but also boost border trade on this plateau, local government sources said wednesday.

According to the Trade Bureau of Tibet Autonomous Region, the newly-built railway will help step up trade with Nepal and India, and thus render Tibet as the frontier for Southern Asian economic communication.

Yadong is one of the major border ports in Tibet. Although it locates 460 kilometers away southwest from the autonomous regional capital Lhasa, the government sources said that the railway with the destination in Lhasa would bring more and better goods as well as opportunities to this region.

Lhasa is not the final end of the railway. Experts have draw a blueprint that in the future a railway network will be created with Lhasa as its center, which will extend to different regions including the border areas of Tibet.

"The railway will shorten Tibet's distance to the world," said Wei Houkai, a research fellow with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

Yadong is 300 kilometers from Bhutan's capital city Thimbu, and 600 kilometers from Dacca, capital of Bengal. In addition to that, the connection point of a railway network in India is only dozens of kilometers from the port.

Among other border ports in Tibet as well as other provinces or autonomous regions in western region of China, Yadong is the nearest to the sea.

Avinash Datta, who works for Mahindra company, one of the top 10 biggest enterprises in India, said that he felt exciting when hearing the completion of the railway.

He said that the railway will help improve Tibet's agricultural production and create a bigger market for investors from India.

Another Indian business man whose surname is Singer said that a railway can impose widespread influence beyond certain areas. He said that the improvement of transportation conditions will help increase Tibetan people's income and boost comsuption power, and Indian business people thus will bring more commodities to Tibet.

"I have heard that the railway will continue to be built and finally connected with a railway in India. That will bring more opportunities for us," he said.

The 1,956-kilometer-long Qinghai-Tibet railway runs across the frozen tundra of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau from Lhasa to Xining, capital of Qinghai Province.

When completed, it will be the highest and longest highlands railroad in the world and the first railway connecting the Tibet Autonomous Region with other parts of China.

The current highways linking Tibet and outside regions transport passengers and carry mainly foodstuff, wood, energy materials,industrial products, and mining items in and out Tibet.

The railway will help promote local economy and border trade in the region by stimulating more profitable sectors such as tourism, mining industry, vegetable processing and Tibetan medicine.

The preparation for July 1 trial operation of passenger train service on Qinghai-Tibet Railway is underway.

Source: Xinhua


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