Chongqing to open flight route to Hanoi

15:47, February 28, 2011      

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The maiden flight from southwestern China’s Chongqing City to Vietnam’s capital Hanoi is to take off on March 6, according to news from the Chongqing municipal government recently.

The route is expected to be operated by China’s Sichuan Airlines, and an A320 passenger jet will conduct two flights weekly.

For quite a long time, the only way to travel to Hanoi from Chongqing by plane was to transfer at Guangzhou in Guangdong Province or Nanning in Guangxi Province, which was "time consuming and inconvenient," said Wang Jiguang, the deputy director of the Port Management Office.

Wang believes the opening of the routes will undoubtedly enhance interactions between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in terms of economy, trade, tourism and cultural communications.

"It is vital support that helps China and Chongqing carry out the ‘Open to the South’ strategy." the official said.

As the largest municipality directly under the central government in China and a strategic transportation hub that connects the vast territory of western China and more prosperous eastern coastal cities, Chongqing is renowned in China and the world for the commitment to develop economics, culture and ideology it has shown in recent years.

Because of its strategic location, Chongqing is also devoted to developing itself into an outlet connecting China’s core to southeastern Asian countries.

In recent years, ASEAN countries have become increasingly hot investment destinations for Chongqing enterprises.

The two sides witnessed rapid growth in economy and trade in 2010 when a zero-tariff policy was implemented in the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area.

In 2010, the export value of Chongqing to ASEAN was more than 1 billion U.S dollars, of which the export value to Vietnam was 210 million U.S dollars, representing 65.4 percent and 69.8 percent growth year on year, respectively.

By Li Mu, People's Daily Online


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