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Kazakstan's key dry port ignored by traders despite its B&R role

Author: Posttime:2018-01-04 08:41:44

KAZAKHSTAN's City of Khorgos, despite its high priority in China Belt and Road transport initiative is being ignored by thousands of traders who still prefer receiving goods through seaports hundreds of miles away, reports London's Financial Times.

"I would rather my goods take 10 times as long to get to Khorgos but be sure they arrive on time," said Jia Xiubing, a trader who imports European snacks through the Chinese ports of Qingdao and Tianjin, 4,000 kilometres east by road or rail. 
Traders said Khorgos's showpiece free trade zone is blighted by chronic delays, high costs and import restrictions.
With investments ranging from ports in Pakistan and Sri Lanka to high-speed railways in east Africa to gas pipelines in central Asia, China's Belt and Road scheme is possibly the largest overseas investment drive ever launched by a single country. 
But the problems, along with the logistical difficulties of transporting goods through central Asia to Europe, illustrate the shaky ground beneath China's ambitious plans to boost its global influence and bolster slowing economic growth at home, the FT said. 
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