From a Chinese perspective, Duisburg is the heart of Europe. There, at the largest inland port in the world, ends the 10,000 kilometre long “New Silk Road”.

China has been investing billions in building transport connections to Europe via Central Asia and the Middle East, and the completion of the so-called New Silk Road between the Chinese coast and Germany will open up exciting new trade – and tourism – opportunities.

After four years of planning, including close collaboration with the 11 participating nations that the New Silk Road crosses, the first Blue Container Train will soon travel from Duisburg to Beijing

A departure ceremony is scheduled to be held on March 29, four years to the day after President Xi Jinping visited Duisburg railway station.

To further advance cultural, tourism and economic exchanges between the countries, the Blue Container Project will hold a two-week launch event in June on a 50,000-square-meter site in Duisburg’s Rheinpark.

At least 25 trains already commute between Duisburg and China every week, while more than a hundred Chinese companies have already settled in the German city. Meanwhile, a large Chinese community has formed, also due to the addition of about two thousand Chinese students who are enrolled at the University of Duisburg- Essen.

T here cross – cultural connections are certain to lead to more tourism opportunities and collaborations between China and Germany, two huge markets in their respective regions.

To this end, the China Trade Center Europe will soon open in the German city, meaning a Chinese trading center with offices, hotel, catering, event and exhibition space as well as an e-commerce center will be established.

And as more and more Chinese tourists come to Duisburg in the wake of the opening of the New Silk Road, there will soon be a Chinese-run hotel at the inner harbour, in addition to regular excursion boats pitched at Chinese tourists.