The new Silk Road leads to the Grand Duchy The Grand Duchy is becoming the gateway to western and southern Europe

The Grand Duchy's logistics sector has just gained an extremely important partner: the Chinese city of Chengdu, capital of Szechuan province in the centre of the People's Republic. From there, a reliable, top-quality rail link covering more than 10,000 kilometres makes it possible to carry goods from one side of the world to the other.

Looking for reliable partners

At first sight, the city of Chengdu has very little in common with the Grand Duchy. Chengdu is a city with a population of nearly 10 million in the midst of the world's most populous country, while the Grand Duchy, with its population of 600,000, is one of the smallest countries in Europe. Yet the two partners share a common interest – the transport of goods. And both are strategically placed in their respective regions: Chengdu in the centre of China, and the Grand Duchy at the heart of Europe.

This means  that, for Chengdu, the Grand Duchy is ideally placed to serve as a gateway to western and southern Europe.

What tipped the balance in the Grand Duchy's favour?

The  Grand Duchy has been a top-performing regional hub for years. Apart from its key position in the centre of western Europe, the Grand Duchy has developed a full offer of logistics services, with the active participation of the State. The Grand Duchy has become an integrated platform, taking advantage of new infrastructures in Bettembourg-Dudelange and reliable connections throughout the region.

The Single Window for Logistics is a one-stop shop for logistics and international trade in Luxembourg that provides services to all players in the sector.

The first train do leave China arrived on schedule on 2 November 2019 in Bettembourg
© MMTP

CFL Cargo ( conventional rail  freight) and CFL Multimodal (  containers) offer daily rail connections to the major hubs throughout the European Union  and Turkey as well as to the Baltic and North Sea ports, making the Grand Duchy the hinterland of the ports of Antwerp, Zeebrugge, Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Hamburg.

Nor should we forget  the 'rolling motorway' between  Luxembourg and Perpignan, offering improved transit times to the south of France.

A blooming partnership

At the same time,  a delegation recently travelled from the Grand Duchy to Chengdu  to  continue the negotiations for setting up a partnership with Cargolux, the world's leading freight airline. Knowing that Cargolux will be choosing two new hubs before the end of 2020 for its activities in China, Chengdu expressed its interest in developing relations with the Grand Duchy.

Established relations

Logistics collaboration has very solid foundations.  Financial relations have been close for many years now. For example, the Grand Duchy is one of Europe's main centres for cross-border business in renminbi (currency code RMB) and an important centre for cross-border investment between China and Europe. Indeed 78% of European funds investing in mainland China are Luxembourgish.

In addition, seven major Chinese banks have opted for the Grand Duchy  as the European hub for their activities.