Handicrafts from China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region attract visitors at the 6th China-Eurasia Expo, which opened on Thursday in Urumqi. (Photo by Zhang Wei/China Daily)
China will continue to work with Eurasian economies in building the Belt and Road Initiative for more shared benefits, Vice-Minister of Commerce Fu Ziying said on Thursday.
"Eurasia is an important driver of world economic growth and is a major area in building the Belt and Road Initiative. Cooperation with Eurasia is important more than ever," Fu said at the 6th China-Eurasia Expo, a three-day event that began on Thursday in Urumqi, capital of the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region in Northwest China.
Fu said China will work together with Eurasian economies for more cooperation in infrastructure, e-commerce and free trade areas. The annual expo, which was held for the first time in 2011, is an important platform for promoting trade along the Silk Road Economic Belt, one of the two wings of the BRI. More than 35 countries and regions, including Georgia, Turkmenistan and Pakistan, are participating in this year's event.
The expo has attracted over 700 Chinese and foreign companies, including world's leading companies and China's corporate stars.
Maia Tskitishvili, vice-prime minister of Georgia, said: "The expo will be another step forward, contributing to achieve Belt and Road Initiative's goals and bringing specific outcomes and broader regional benefits.
"This is an excellent opportunity to further enhance trade connectivity, people-to-people contacts and business relations, and also highlight our expectations and priorities in relation to the initiative. Events like the expo will help the BRI to attain its goals and address any imbalances in trade between China and the Eurasian region," she said.
Latest data from China's Ministry of Commerce showed that trade between China and countries and regions participating in the BRI exceeded $5 trillion recently, growing at 1.1 percent annually on average over the past five years.
Chinese overseas direct investment or ODI in BRI participants was more than $70 billion, and has been growing at 7.2 percent annually on average.
The organizing committee of the expo said earlier that the event has emerged as an important platform for exchanges and cooperation between China and Eurasian countries. This year's edition has also helped showcase Xinjiang's rapid development, the committee said.
The previous five editions saw nearly 35 heads of state and directors of international organizations deliberate with more than 1,100 ministerial-level guests to forge cooperation and trade initiatives.