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Road to heaven, road to prosperity
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In the past three years, the railway has transported more than 8.3 million passengers. What they brought to Tibet is soaring tourism revenue, employment and the development of related sectors including hotels and catering.

Smooth cargo flow ensured by the railway is also changing the economic fundamentals in Tibet.

Ni Ma is the head of Se Ma village which is near the railway line. He opened a logistics company after the railway went into operation.

Ni Ma, general managerof Sema Logistics, Lhasa, said, "The railway helps in raising farmers' income and our life has improved greatly."

Ni Ma now has more than 60 employees, all from his village. Their average income is about 1200 yuan a month.

Currently, the railway has become the most important mode of cargo transportation between Tibet and the inland areas.

Li Jinquan, worker of Sema Logistics, Lhasa, said, "This ore powder will be sent to Xining. Before, we relied on auto transportation only, now by railway, the transportation is cheaper and faster."

The railway lowered transport costs by more than 60 percent.

This has made Tibet's commodities competitive, saved more profits for local companies and made daily necessities and durable goods cheaper.

The railway has become an economic artery for Tibet. With an average GDP growth rate of more than 12 percent in the past two years. Tibet's economy is now right on track.

Ni Ma said, "I believe that our business will expand daily, the prospects are boundless."

Based on successful experience, China approved two projects to extend the Qinghai-Tibet Railway from Lhasa to Xigeze and Nyingchi. The extensions are to be completed by 2020.

Many call the Qinghai-Tibet Railway a "Road to heaven". But the significance of the enormous project is far more than overcoming construction difficulties to ensure the road to heaven can lead locals to economic prosperity and a better life.

(CCTV September 3, 2009)


Road to heaven, road to prosperity
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