The Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation was held successfully in May 2017. Thanks to joint efforts from all parties, the Belt and Road (B&R) construction has yielded fruitful achievements.
Over the year, trade cooperation among countries and regions along the B&R routes has been deepened continuously, injecting new impetus for China’s economic development. Cooperation in policy coordination, production capacity cooperation, financial service and people-to-people exchanges has been greatly strengthened.
The concept of “extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits” upheld by the B&R has gained widely recognition in the global arena. The B&R Initiative has shown promising future.
Open and inclusive international cooperation platform
"The B&R Initiative has brought tangible benefits to the people of relevant countries," said Meng Wei, spokesperson of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), at a press conference, adding that big data proves that the B&R construction is an open and inclusive international cooperation platform.
By far, China has signed 103 cooperation agreements with 88 countries and international organizations under the B&R Initiative. Of the 279 items in the outcome list released at the B&R Forum for International Cooperation held last year, 255 have been converted into normalized work and 24 have been advanced in an orderly way.
Statistics show that more than 8,000 China-Europe freight trains have been dispatched to 14 European countries and 42 cities. Goods traded between China and related countries have exceeded 5 trillion U.S. dollars. Silk Road Fund has supported 19 B&R projects involving 80 billion U.S. dollars. China has signed cultural agreements with over 60 countries under the International Coalition for Green Development on the B&R.
The B&R Initiative is being turned into actions from a concept, and being translated into reality from a vision, bringing more win-win results to related countries.
Gratifying trade performance
The Big Data Report on Trade Cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative 2018, compiled by the national big data center of B&R Initiative under the State Information Center and the Dalian Infobank Co., was released officially on May 6.
Tong Youjun, director of the B&R foreign trade big data research center and chairman of Dalian Infobank Co., made an analysis on the report.
China's foreign trade with countries along the B&R routes has seen rapid growth, with import growth exceeding export growth for the first time. In 2017, the total import and export volume of China and the B&R countries reached 1440.32 billion U.S. dollars, up 13.4 percent year on year, which was 5.9 percentage points higher than China’s overall foreign trade growth rate, and accounting for 36.2 percent of the country’s total import and export trade volume.
In terms of countries, China's trade volume with Asia and Oceania accounted for more than 50 percent, of which China's trade with Central Asia saw the fastest growth. The Republic of Korea (ROK), Vietnam, Malaysia, India and Russia ranked the top five by foreign trade volume with China.
In terms of domestic regions, east China saw the total value of imports and exports in 2017 with the B&R countries accounted for nearly 80 percent of China’s foreign trade with those countries. Guangdong, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Shandong and Shanghai were the top five by foreign trade with the B&R countries last year.
In terms of commodity structure, mechanical and electrical products were the key commodities that China exported to the B&R countries, while electrical machinery and mineral fuels belonged to the key commodities that China imported from those countries.
In terms of trade body, private enterprises were the main forces, while state-owned enterprises' trade volume with the B&R countries saw a sharp increase. In 2017, the total imports and exports volume between China’s private enterprises and their counterparts in the B&R countries stood at 619.98 billion U.S. dollars, accounting for 43.0 percent of China's total trade volume with those countries. State-owned enterprises saw the growth of imports and exports volume with the B&R countries grow the fastest, up 24.5 percent from that in 2016.