Mannheim signs MoU supporting goal of Chongqing freight connection

The 9 of July saw a significant development in the IUC pairing between the City of Mannheim (Germany) and the city of Chongqing (China), with Mannheim signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Chongqing-based Yuxinou Logistics Company for the creation of a direct cargo railway line between the two cities. The signing took place during an official visit by a delegation from Chongqing to the German city.

The Mayor of Mannheim, Dr Peter Kurz, emphasised that as a water, road and rail hub, Mannheim is one of the most important business locations in Europe. "Chongqing will find an outstanding environment in Mannheim for relevant economic actors. We are happy to be able to build new ties with China as part of the EU's IUC programme. The project to establish a continuous freight connection has been going on for a year now and is being quickly concretised."

In addition to providing new economic opportunities, the train connection will significantly reduce emissions by removing the need for freight trucks.

Xue Xiong, Director General of the Development and Reform Commission of Chongqing, said that through cooperation with Mannheim, the cooperation between Chongqing and Europe would reach a new level, adding "the two cities have different strengths and therefore great potential for cooperation."

In addition to the signing of the MoU, the establishment of a Chongqing representative office within Mannheim was discussed during the visit.

"Through the IUC Asia project, the EU supports the international dimension of European cities when dealing with Asia and specifically with China,“ said Pablo Gándara, manager of the EU-ASIA cooperation within the IUC programme. “Cities like Mannheim - a European Champion in logistics and smart manufacturing - can truly benefit from IUC cooperation with Chinese cities like Chongqing by identifying actions for short-term implementation. The planned railway freight connection is a great example of this."

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