Belt and Road construction made remarkable progress in the economic and trade sector in the first half of this year, while the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in May achieved a series of important economic and trade outcomes.
Commerce Vice Minister Qian Keming said recently that plans had been made to implement the agreements, turn the desire for promoting economic globalization into genuine actions, and push forward Belt and Road construction in scope and depth.
An increasing number of countries and international organizations are coming to actively participate in the Belt and Road Initiative. In May, China successfully hosted the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, which promoted Belt and Road construction to an all-time high, and created a strong motivation and much positive energy to solve current problems faced by many economies and boost economic globalization.
Qian said achievements had been made in four aspects during the first half of this year.
Firstly, trade cooperation was deepened. China actively expanded imports from Belt and Road countries, optimized the trade structure that was more open to each other and facilitated overall trade expansion.
Secondly, investment cooperation was increased. China has continued to improve its policies and strengthen investment services, along with encouraging companies to invest in the countries along the Belt and Road routes. In the first half of this year, total investment in these countries was US$6.6 billion, with contracted projects worth US$71.4 billion, up 38.8 percent year-on-year.
Thirdly, China continued to promote the construction of economic and trade cooperation zones in other countries. Chinese companies were encouraged to operate according to market requirements and to take development strategy, resources, market demand and other factors into consideration when building such zones.
Fourthly, the construction of free trade zones was accelerated.
At the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, President Xi Jinping delivered a keynote speech and announced a series of significant measures, while witnessing the conclusion of over 270 agreements.
Xi also announced the nation would hold the first China International Import Expo in 2018. Qian said the Ministry of Commerce was now making preparations for it, hoping to draw worldwide participation.
Meanwhile, the ministry would properly implement major foreign aid measures, support developing countries in their economic development and improve people's wellbeing, and properly implement the agreements with related countries and international organizations to deepen Belt and Road economic and trade cooperation and benefit more countries and people.