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Railway cuts production costs for Tibetan businesses
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21:54, July 18, 2007

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Beer brewed from plateau barley, mineral water from an altitude of 5,100 meters, dried yak meat and yogurt -- you don''t have to travel to Tibet for the goods now that trains on the plateau have nearly halved production costs and shipped more Tibet''s specific products to the rest of China.

"The railway has helped Tibet better integrate into the national market," said Yue Zhiqiang, managing director of the Tibet Lhasa Brewery Ltd. Co.

The 1,956-km railway running from Lhasa to Xining in the adjacent Qinghai Province has reduced costs for transportation and raw materials by at least 40 percent this year, said Norbu Cering, a senior executive of the company.

"This will cut our production costs by at least 3.4 million yuan (436,000 U.S. dollars)," he said. "Our sales will top 230 million yuan (30 million U.S. dollars) this year."

The company, in which Denmark''s Brewer Carlsberg holds 50 percent of the shares, has shipped nearly 1,000 tons of beer by train to Beijing, Shanghai and at least five provinces in northeastern and central China since it began selling beer out of Tibet two months ago.

Its annual production for this year is estimated at 60,000 tons, of which 5,000 tons will be sold to other parts of China, said Norbu Cering.

By 2010, the company plans to sell one third, or 50,000 tons, of its annual production outside Tibet, he said.

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