On April 10, 2017, Minister Ma Hui attended and addressed the departure ceremony of the first freight train from London to Yiwu, China. Ms Liang Liming, Vice Governor of Zhejiang Province and her delegation, and Rupert Soames, Prime Minister's Business Ambassador for Infrastructure and Transport joined Members of Parliament, local government officials as well as over 200 representatives from the business and media circles at the ceremony at DP World London Gateway.
In his speech, Minister Ma said that the "coming" and "going" of the China Railway Express is of great significance for China and the UK to expand economic and trade cooperation, to build "Belt and Road", and to enhance mutual understanding between China and foreign countries. He hopes that the two sides will seize the opportunity to deepen cooperation, and work for mutual benefit and win-win outcomes.
The freight train hauling 32 containers of British goods left London on a return trip to Yiwu. The direct rail link between Britain and China will further advance the trade among the countries along the line.