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Alataw Pass sees increasing Europe-bound freight trains in 2018

  URUMQI, Jan. 17 (Xinhua) -- To date, a total of 2,605 China-Europe freight trains have traveled through the Alataw Pass, a major rail port in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, marking a year-on-year growth of 16.69 percent, local customs said Thursday.

  Alataw Pass is one of the busiest land ports on the modern Silk Road and connects the East Asia economic rim and the European economic circle.

  According to the customs office of the pass, 1,004 of the freight trains via the pass were return trains, increasing 44.25 percent from a year earlier.

  In 2018, imports and exports via the pass reached 22.37 million tonnes, up 9.2 percent year on year, while the trade volume totaled 77.9 billion yuan (11.5 billion U.S. dollars), up 7.3 percent.

  Customs officials said the clearance efficiency at the pass significantly improved in 2018.